It’s Now Yangmei Season in China, Here’s What You Need to Know

By That's Shanghai, June 15, 2020

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It almost saddens us to write about yángméi (杨梅). They are one of the only things about the sweaty, sticky summers that we look forward to. And yet, no sooner are fruit stands and wet markets teeming with these knobby little gems, than they’re gone again.

READ MORE: How to Get the Most Out of Your Local Wet Market

Most yangmei are cultivated in Zhejiang province, but you'll find them across the country. Act fast though; the season usually starts around Dragon Boat Festival, and only lasts a few weeks. In fact, it should nearly be over – yangmei season usually ends in late June. 

Thankfully, if – as predicted – an extended plum rain season occurs this year, the famed fruit should still be found on shelves for a while yet. It is on the arrival of the sanfu (三伏), otherwise known as the hottest period of the year, that they’ll be off the market again.

So how do they taste? Downright delicious! Imagine everything you love about strawberries and blackberries and fresh currants in one convenient, pulpy, juicy and beautiful little fruit.

Yangmei

Image by Aimee Burlamacchi/That’s

How to Pick Them

Look for plump, blemish-free berries about 1.5-2.5cm in diameter. They can be anywhere from bright red to a rich, deep purple. In our experience, the darker ones are much sweeter and juicier.

Yangmei
Image by Aimee Burlamacchi/That’s

How to Eat Them

Simple. Pop them in your mouth and spit out the stone.

Being a natural product, certain little bugs tend to enjoy these tasty fruits as much as humans do. However, they are easily evicted from their yangmei hangouts with a little cleaning. Brian Tan, formerly of HoF, recommends soaking them in salted water for at least two hours, and rinsing them with a little vodka for extra cleanliness.

Cost

RMB20-35/jin (斤, 500g), prices may vary between larger and smaller ones.


This article originally appeared on Thatsmags.com on June 7, 2017. It has been updated and republished on June 15, 2020.

[Cover image by Aimee Burlamacchi/That’s]

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