5 Fruits to Look Out For in Chinese Markets

One of the most enjoyable activities in exploring the wonders of China is navigating its food markets. While encountering such exotic foodstuffs is stimulating, it can also be quite baffling. Here are 5 of the strangest fruits to look out for the next time you are browsing the Chinese markets. 

Mangosteens

Despite the name, these fruits are not like mangos at all. Thick purple skin peels away to reveal a strawberry and vanilla tasting flesh white flesh. 

Goji Berries

Goji berries belong to the same family as potatoes, tomatoes, and chilli peppers. They have the appearance of dry raisins and can be found all over China. They are known for their anti-oxidant properties.

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🌿🌿Gǒu Qǐ Zi • 枸杞子 – Goji berries (lycium barbarum) belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency' in the Chinese Materia Medica. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yin tonics have a heavy, moist nature. They nourish the Kidneys and Liver and/or moisten the Lungs and Stomach. ▫️ 🌿🌿Goji berries enter the Liver and Kidney meridians and are Sweet and Neutral in flavour. Sweet ingredients slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They have a tonic effect as they replenish Qi and Blood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Kidneys regulate the urinary system and play a major role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. The Liver is referred to as the body's ‘general’ since it regulates the movements 🌀of Qi and body fluids and regulates emotion. ▫️ 🌿🌿Gǒu Qǐ Zi’s main actions according to TCM are to (1) Tonify Liver and Kidney Yin, (2) Brighten the eyes 👀 and (3) Moisten the Lung. ▫️ 🌿🌿Primary conditions or symptoms for which goji berries may be prescribed by TCM doctors include: Knee pain🦵🏾, Tinnitus👂🏽, Diabetes, Anemia 🩸and Impaired vision👓. In combination with other herbs, goji berries can be an effective remedy for premature grey hair 👨🏼‍🦳, dizziness, headache🤕, low back pain, impotence, and healthy skin. ▫️ 🌿🌿 To dive a little deeper into Chinese Medical terminology, Extreme Yin Deficiency translates into ‘burn-out.’ Rest and sleep 💤 are the best remedies for Yin Deficiency alongside Chinese herbs🌿, acupuncture and proper diet.🍚 ▫️ 🌿🌿From a biomedical perspective, goji berries have antioxidant effects in humans and anti-inflammatory effects in mice 🐁 Studies show they increase metabolic rate and reduce waist circumference. Goji berries contain high concentrations of Vitamin A, C, and E, and carotenoids, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin and help with energy, immunity, mood, focus and libido. ▫️ 🌿🌿Image @jl_holistic

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Jujube

The jujube is a kind of date that tastes like sweet apple and cinnamon. The Chinese like to use them in soups, teas and sweet drinks.  

Durian

Known as the “King of Fruits”, Durian is one of the most expensive fruits in China. It is about the size of a watermelon, has a spikey yellow exterior, and is known for its terrible smell.

Rambutans

This strange fruit has a furry red skin and white egg-like interior that makes them look like an alien from a 1970s sci-fi movie. The flesh is juicy like lychee but tastes like a mix of pear and sour grape.