Just like vegetables, fruits are much more flavorful and healthier when they’re harvested in their peak seasons. Yet it can be hard for us to know what’s in season in Beijing given that so much of it is imported from nearby regions and countries. Below we guide you through which fruits to look out for at your local market so that you can munch on the best Beijing has to offer.
Mulberries (桑葚 sāng sèn)
You’ve perhaps noticed vendors already popping up on the street selling these small deep red berries. Succulent and full of juice, mulberries make for a perfect pairing of sweet-tartness. They are also full of natural pigment, so be extra careful not to stain your fingers, mouth, and most importantly, your spring getup.
Strawberries (草莓 cǎo méi)
Who can say no to strawberries? They are fragrant, wonderfully tasty, nutrient-rich, and go great with just about everything, be it in your morning smoothie, on top of your yogurt as an afternoon snack, a colorful addition to your fruit salad, or just simply washed and popped in your mouth whole. Strawberries are sweetest and juiciest in spring, so be sure to make the most of them now.
Pineapple (菠萝 bō luó)
Pineapple is native to the Asian tropics, and has a refreshingly tart taste and fragrance. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, and has been showen to help soothe throat infections and bronchitis. If you’ve got a real sweet tooth and can’t tolerate too much sourness, soak the chopped pineapple in a bowl of filtered water with some salt to neutralize the sourness, giving the pineapple a mellower taste.
Cherries (樱桃 yīng táo)
In China, cherries are mostly grown in Yantai, Shandong in late spring. Cherries belong to a subcategory of fruit known as drupes, and are delicious, packed with health-boosting nutrients, and are low in calories and fats. They can be used in so many ways, such as to make jam, added to fruit cocktail, or eaten alone without any modification at all.
Wax Apple (莲雾 lián wù)
Originally from Malaysia and India, wax apples are cultivated in some of the warmer parts of China such as Guangdong and Hainan, and are also best during late spring. The alien-looking fruit are rich in vitamin A and C, and have a light and faintly sweet aroma. As with cherries and strawberries, they can be consumed raw or preserved in the form of jellies, jams, or as a syrup.