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liuzhou

China Shopping

99 posts in this topic

There's a particular type of grape that I used to enjoy in China as a child, black with a slip off skin and a juicy, jelly like interior. Every time I go back to China, I gorge on those grapes because I know I'm not going to be able to eat them for a very long time.

 

Recently, on a vacation to Japan, I found the same grapes and discovered they are called Kyoho Grapes. Unfortunately, the Japanese ones are ungodly expensive (the cheapest have been $6USD for a small bunch but they can get up to $50USD a bunch to be given as gifts) so I did not get to indulge too much.

 

Are they available where you are? If so, count yourself lucky because those grapes, along with Xinjiang lamb skewers are two food memories I still dream about to this day.


PS: I am a guy.

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There's a particular type of grape that I used to enjoy in China as a child, black with a slip off skin and a juicy, jelly like interior. Every time I go back to China, I gorge on those grapes because I know I'm not going to be able to eat them for a very long time.

 

Are they available where you are? If so, count yourself lucky because those grapes, along with Xinjiang lamb skewers are two food memories I still dream about to this day.

 

Not something, I've come across. Where in China were you as a child? Where do you find them on your return trips?

The Xinjiang lamb skewers are everywhere. 

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There's a particular type of grape that I used to enjoy in China as a child, black with a slip off skin and a juicy, jelly like interior. Every time I go back to China, I gorge on those grapes because I know I'm not going to be able to eat them for a very long time.

 

Recently, on a vacation to Japan, I found the same grapes and discovered they are called Kyoho Grapes. Unfortunately, the Japanese ones are ungodly expensive (the cheapest have been $6USD for a small bunch but they can get up to $50USD a bunch to be given as gifts) so I did not get to indulge too much.

 

Are they available where you are? If so, count yourself lucky because those grapes, along with Xinjiang lamb skewers are two food memories I still dream about to this day.

From your link it looks like they grow them in California.

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Yes. Dragon fruit. Pretty but rather tasteless, yet I like it. Sort of refreshing.

 

It is mostly eaten as a table fruit or in fruit salads. 

 

It also comes in a beautiful red fleshed version 红心火龙果, literally "Red Heart Fire Dragon Fruit". They turned up in the market today.

 

Red%20Dragon%20Fruit%201.jpg

 

Red%20Dragon%20Fruit%202.jpg

 

The normal version is as below:

 

Pitaya.jpg

 

I'm not sure if I could tell them apart in a blind tasting, but I got the impression there was a hint of those earthy beetroot flavours in the red ones, but I'm sure that was just auto-suggestion prompted by the colour.

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Yesterday, I came across an exciting find in my local market. I've been looking for these for a long time.

 

“Chicken Skin Fruit” 鸡皮果 - jī pí guǒ, also known as 山黄皮 - shān huáng pí,literally “Mountain Yellow Skin”, is the fruit of a large shrub (Clausena anisum-olens (Blanco) Merrill) native to round here. It grows south and west of here towards the Yunnan border. They are all but unknown outside of Guangxi, although the leaves of the plant are used in Philippine traditional medicine. They are sometimes referred to as “Chinese Wampee” although true wampee is a different, if very similar looking, species.

 

They are eaten fresh in the countryside where they grow and are popular among many of the ethnic minorities in those areas. Few make it fresh to the cities. They are also made into a kind of jam.

 

The local ethnic minority, the Zhuang people, love their pickles, so it is not surprising that the only chicken skin fruit I'd ever seen in Liuzhou were these pickled fruits with chilli which are sold in jars. These critters are HOT! But through the spicy heat comes a mild citrus taste with hints of aniseed. 

 

Chicken-Skin-Fruit-Jar.jpg


They can be used in stir fries – I’ve seen one recipe for a pork stir fry with these, but more traditionally they are used with duck or chicken. They are also used in hot pots or stews, especially with dog meat.

 

Chicken-Skin-Fruit.jpg

 

But yesterday, finally, I found the fresh fruit in the market. 

 

wampee1.jpg
 

The fresh fruits are slightly larger than the pickled ones I have eaten before (above) – larger than a grape. About the same size and shape as a quail egg. Here are some beside a regular sized chicken's egg for comparison.

 

IMG_6386.jpgIMG_6386.jpg

They taste only slightly sweet but have a mildly sour background and a slight hint of citrus.

 

wampee2.jpg

 

Happy mouth!

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Liuzhou, your other mushroom thread talks about soup.

 

The best soup I have tasted was one make with dried scallops as one of the ingredients.

 

Good size dried scallops here in NY I think is over $300 a lb.

 

What is the price in your area?

 

dcarch

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Liuzhou, your other mushroom thread talks about soup.

 

The best soup I have tasted was one make with dried scallops as one of the ingredients.

 

Good size dried scallops here in NY I think is over $300 a lb.

 

What is the price in your area?

 

dcarch

 

 

Not sure off the top of my head, but I'll check tomorrow and get back to you. It's been a while since I bought any because a friend brought me a big bag of them from Vietnam not long ago.

 

What do you mean by "good sized"? Scallops round here tend to be rather small compared to what I know in the UK.

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Not sure off the top of my head, but I'll check tomorrow and get back to you. It's been a while since I bought any because a friend brought me a big bag of them from Vietnam not long ago.

 

What do you mean by "good sized"? Scallops round here tend to be rather small compared to what I know in the UK.

 

More than 1" in diameter, whole ones, not broken ones.

 

dcarch

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liuzhou

Thanks for sharing the information about chicken skin fruit. I am always humbled to learn that the fruits and vegetables I am familiar with constitute but a fraction of what is out there.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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liuzhou

Thanks for sharing the information about chicken skin fruit. I am always humbled to learn that the fruits and vegetables I am familiar with constitute but a fraction of what is out there.

 

That was my biggest lesson on arriving in China. I went to a market and 90% of what they were selling was unrecognisable. 

Deep joy!

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Chicken skin fruit!  I learn something new every day.  Is there a small seed or a pit?  Multiple seeds?  In one pictured above I think I see a seed similar to one found in an orange?

 

Most are seedless; a few have tiny seeds. Never more than one per fruit. Occasionally, when the omens are good and the wind in the right direction, you may get a lemon seed sized seed. I'm trying to sprout one now, I'll be astonished if it comes to anything.

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None of the scallops I've encountered in China are anywhere near 1" in diameter.

 

I have seen them even bigger, but the prices are $$$$$$$$!

 

People buy them mostly as gifts.

 

dcarch

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Yes, I"ve seen them, too. Just not in China.

 

Tell you a secret. Size isn't everything. I've even heard of people who say it doesn't matter. Not sure that they were scallop experts, though.

 

One thing to consider for the smaller ones. Lots of Fake!!!

 

dcarch

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Liuzhou, your other mushroom thread talks about soup.

 

The best soup I have tasted was one make with dried scallops as one of the ingredients.

 

Good size dried scallops here in NY I think is over $300 a lb.

 

What is the price in your area?

 

dcarch

 

Had a look in my local supermarket this morning. The largest dried scallops (still a bit smaller than 1") were priced at 500元 / 500g. At today's exchange rate that is approx $80 USD, €60 or £48. There were others which were smaller and only slightly cheaper.

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Been away for far too long! Catching up on my reading and enjoying this thread very much! Thanks, Liuzhou for sharing all the photos.

The first set of pictures reminds me of the first Wal-Mart we saw and visited in Beijing last year. We were in awe! I REALLY wanted to be back in my kitchen with all the stuff I saw, haven't seen or eaten for 50 years!
 

The outdoor markets remind me of the wet markets in Malaysia. I too was surprised at meat on display without refridgeration. As you said, people wash their meat purchases to death before cooking. At one of the chicken stalls we visited, they kill the chicken you choose, pluck and scorched the pin feathers with a torch, then cover it with tumuric if you don't tell them you don't want it "yellow". Would that be a way of keeping flies off?

I noticed the kitchen maid washing the chickens with some kind of solution before cooking them.

 

I assume most people in China would buy a live chicken and kill it at home...Couldn't be any fresher!

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Dejah

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Been away for far too long! Catching up on my reading and enjoying this thread very much! Thanks, Liuzhou for sharing all the photos.

The first set of pictures reminds me of the first Wal-Mart we saw and visited in Beijing last year. We were in awe! I REALLY wanted to be back in my kitchen with all the stuff I saw, haven't seen or eaten for 50 years!

 

The outdoor markets remind me of the wet markets in Malaysia. I too was surprised at meat on display without refridgeration. As you said, people wash their meat purchases to death before cooking. At one of the chicken stalls we visited, they kill the chicken you choose, pluck and scorched the pin feathers with a torch, then cover it with tumuric if you don't tell them you don't want it "yellow". Would that be a way of keeping flies off?

I noticed the kitchen maid washing the chickens with some kind of solution before cooking them.

 

I assume most people in China would buy a live chicken and kill it at home...Couldn't be any fresher!

 

 

Welcome back.

Yes, most people buy live poultry and dispatch it at home. Same with freshwater fish, frogs etc. I usually buy live birds and freshwater fish.

But the market people will do the dirty if you prefer. Kill, gut, pluck etc. Obviously they don't pluck the fish, but they will gut and descale it. They will also deal with frogs although, again, most people take them home live.

 

No idea about the turmeric. Never heard of the practice. They don't do that here. In fact, they don't do turmeric.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Yesterday, I came across an exciting find in my local market. I've been looking for these for a long time.

 

“Chicken Skin Fruit” 鸡皮果 - jī pí guǒ, also known as 山黄皮 - shān huáng pí,literally “Mountain Yellow Skin”, is the fruit of a large shrub (Clausena anisum-olens (Blanco) Merrill) native to round here. It grows south and west of here towards the Yunnan border. They are all but unknown outside of Guangxi, although the leaves of the plant are used in Philippine traditional medicine. They are sometimes referred to as “Chinese Wampee” although true wampee is a different, if very similar looking, species.

 

They are eaten fresh in the countryside where they grow and are popular among many of the ethnic minorities in those areas. Few make it fresh to the cities. They are also made into a kind of jam.

 

The local ethnic minority, the Zhuang people, love their pickles, so it is not surprising that the only chicken skin fruit I'd ever seen in Liuzhou were these pickled fruits with chilli which are sold in jars. These critters are HOT! But through the spicy heat comes a mild citrus taste with hints of aniseed. 

 

Chicken-Skin-Fruit-Jar.jpg

They can be used in stir fries – I’ve seen one recipe for a pork stir fry with these, but more traditionally they are used with duck or chicken. They are also used in hot pots or stews, especially with dog meat.

 

Chicken-Skin-Fruit.jpg

 

But yesterday, finally, I found the fresh fruit in the market. 

 

wampee1.jpg

 

The fresh fruits are slightly larger than the pickled ones I have eaten before (above) – larger than a grape. About the same size and shape as a quail egg. Here are some beside a regular sized chicken's egg for comparison.

 

IMG_6386.jpgIMG_6386.jpg

They taste only slightly sweet but have a mildly sour background and a slight hint of citrus.

 

wampee2.jpg

 

Happy mouth!

 

 

Okay, I can find nothing in English queries about "chicken skin fruit" china except liuzhou's photos and posts that seem to apply, I still have to say that his local market find resembles mine a lot which is muscadines, or vitis rotundifloria.

 

Any idea, liuzhou, what your lovely fruit's Latin handle is?

 

Mine do not have citrus over/undertones, except for their acid to offset the sweetness, but other than that they look very similar. 


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Any idea, liuzhou, what your lovely fruit's Latin handle is?

 

It's in the post you just quoted!  :rolleyes: 

 

(Clausena anisum-olens (Blanco) Merrili)

 

Your muscadines do look similar, but are a totally unrelated fruit. Muscadines are a vine fruit whereas the chicken skin fruit grows on bushes.

 

It doesn't surprise me that nothing useful came up on a search in English - nothing much comes up in Chinese either. The term "Chicken Skin Fruit" is my literal translation of the Chinese and the fruit is only found in a small, almost exclusively non-English speaking area. Even many of my local Chinese friends don't know the fruit.

Coincidentally, a Chinese friend called me yesterday to ask if I had heard of it and whether it grew in England!

 

 

A bit more info here.

 

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I failed to read carefully.  :blush:

 

Thanks for the info. I agree the two are not related at all. It would be very interesting to taste muscadines and chicken skin fruit side by side, I think, still.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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All the above related to my shopping in the city, but I also have a second home in the countryside. Shopping there is much more difficult. There are only two food outlets within walking distance.

 

IMG_9639.jpg

 

This is the local butcher/greengrocer.

 

You get a choice of pork or pork. Very occasionally maybe a chicken. The vegetables are also very limited in choice.

 

Most of the locals are subsistence farmers who grow what they eat and therefore have no need of shops.

 

IMG_9640.jpg

 

This place nearby has fruit, eggs, soft drinks and a few snack items. It mostly caters to students from the nearby colleges.

 

For more useful shopping I need to take a bus to the next village about half an hour's ride away. There is only one bus per hour.

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