Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Letters From Taipei: Fruity Abundance

In this week's installment, Sara Conrad gives us a whirlwind tour of Taiwan's fruit scene.

Produce aisle

Photo: Sara Conrad (Earth Eats)

The sheer number of options is overwhelming.

Taiwan is known as a fruit lovers’ paradise, and believe me, it’s reputation is well deserved. There are huge stands everywhere and smaller vendors scattered throughout the city streets. My son and I eat fruit every day, either as an entire meal or as a quick snack.

Familiar Favorites, Exotic Variations

Some familiar favorites include bananas, watermelons, apples, peaches, mangos and pineapples.

The mangos are much sweeter than the ones back in the US, though, and there are many more different kinds. Traditionally considered a symbol of good fortune, the pineapple is another fruit I believe to be sweeter tasting here. Some of the more common varieties include Winter Honey Pineapple, Ice Cream Pineapple and Fragrant Pineapple. In addition to enjoying it freshly cut, the Taiwanese also make pineapple tarts, pineapple fried rice and pineapple cakes.

Taiwan fruit stand and sign

Photo: Sara Conrad (Earth Eats)

Never had a wax apple? Go ahead, try one.

Wax Apples And Lychee

But I’ve also enjoyed some of the island’s more exotic offerings as well.

There’s “lian wu” — or wax apple. It resembles a red pepper but tastes like an apple with the texture of a potato. Another good one is lychee, most of which have medium to large-size seed, relatively firm flesh and complex flavor.

Try and find these at your local growers market!

Read More:

  • Letters From Taipei: An Introduction (Earth Eats)
  • Letters From Taipei: Brimming With Bread (Earth Eats)
Sara Conrad

Sara is an eternal student. Currently studying Tibetan Culture at Indiana University, she loves to cook with fresh, organic, vegetarian ingredients – but also has never turned down fake mashed potatoes in a buffet line.

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