Weekly Bite: Yangmei, the YUMberry

photo credit: ullrich.c via photopin cc
(photo credit: ullrich.c via photopin cc) 

Ever heard of yangmei? While it is commonly known as the city in southern Taiwan, it also is commonly used in regard to a fruit too! These ruby-esque, berry-like fruits area usually between 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter with an extra knobby surface (think raspberry x 10). While the fruit is usually a deep read (as shown above) it can actually vary from white to purple. What does it taste like? Very sweet and very tart! Be careful, though, at the center you’ll find a single seed with a diameter about half of the whole fruit!

The “yangmei” title is no coincidence, however. The fruit is native to eastern Asia and mainly in China. The fruit is said to go back about 2,000 years! It’s not only the edible part that has been cherished, though.  The tree it grows on (also referred to as the Yangmei) is of considerable economic and cultural importance. Growing mainly on mountain slopes of at least 100 – 1,500 meters in altitude, many go out of their way to relish in their beauty. The tree is, in fact, so beautiful that they are commonly used as ornaments for parks, streets, and traditional staples in a classic east Asian gardens.

But, what exactly is the fruit used for? Eating, of course! The taste is quite popular and can be consumed fresh, dried, canned, juiced, fermented (into alcoholic beverages especially), and more! In addition, the taste is said to be so good that many candy manufacturers in the region use it to flavor their licorice, and if you ever come across a juice product named “Yumberry”, it is made of the yangmei fruit.

Not only does it taste delicious but is also said to be quite nutritious. High in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals… you just can’t go wrong. I haven’t been fortunate enough to have the fruit just yet, but seriously… where can I find them around here? Any suggestions? Sign me up!

If you are fortunate enough to come across yangmei, here are some things you can do with them:

Yangmei Fruit Tart via Bam’s Kitchen

Yangmei Orange Iced Tea via Appetite for China

Yangmei Whiskey Drink via Blood & Sand

3-Course Yangmei Feast via Tom Eats Jen Cooks

Yangmei Sorbet via Shanghai Family


Have you ever tried yangmei?



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