Monday, May 28, 2012

Mandarin Mondays: 杨梅 (Chinese Waxberry)

While fish heads, chicken feet, and some other delicacies here, may not particularly be our favorites, one thing we do love about the food here is all the different fruit we get to try. This region, because of it's mild climate and long growing seasons, has a exceptional amount of fruit and vegetables all year long. Like most of the world, the people here mostly eat seasonally and locally grown produce, with very little imported. But because of the abundance and variety available in this area, this is very easy to do here and get a well rounded diet and not get bored. We definitely appreciate this about this area because as Americans we are particularly spoiled by the notion that we should be able to have virtually any type of produce at any time of the year. This just isn't the case for most of the world, and many areas of China have vastly different climates and much less variety of produce.

One of our favorite seasonal fruits this time of year is the Chinese Waxberry or Chinese Bayberry. Although since we have only known these in China, we never call them that and only use the Mandarin name yángméi (杨梅). These taste like a cross between a raspberry and a cranberry to us. Our boys absolutely love them, which sometimes surprises the Chinese people, because they can be quite tart.

Recently, Nate took the boys to pick some growing in our apartment complex. This batch wasn't all the way ripe so they were more sour than usual. I ended up boiling, mashing, straining out the pits, and then adding sugar to make yángméi pancake syrup. It turned out great and the boys were super excited with their special pancake sauce.

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