Saturday, 14 June 2008
One of the many things we have learned living here, is that the Chinese people have some different fruits - things that we have never seen, and so many of them the Chinese students cannot give us an English name for them. We have seen the yangmei or Bayberry, which has been grown in China for over 2000 years. The fruit grows on a tree and this time of the year (late June) they are ripe for picking. The foreign teachers were taken on a visit to a village, just outside Shangyu, where they grow this fruit in the hills overlooking the village. We have had some pretty wet weather, so we had to walk along a pretty muddy path to get to the trees growing on the side of the hill.
There were family members from grandfather, to grandchildren picking the fruit. They were very generous in giving us handfuls of the fruit to eat. Very juicy sweet fruit, that are often seeped in Shaoxing Rice Wine or similar. They are great to eat straight from the refrigerator. After a while exploring the village, we boarded the bus for the return trip, and were most surprised to find that a basket of fruit had been provided for us. The fruit was packed into little plastic baskets with fern to stop the fruit rolling around.
Yangmei is on the menu for dinner tonight!