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Fantastic fruits and when to eat them. (What's in season now?)


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4 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

large bricks of it


I have one of these, I think I may have mentioned it in one of the tea discussions and it was decided the best use for it was decorative as it has an imprint of a temple and other Yunnan images.

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Yes, I remember, Shelley. Your's was very pretty, with deep stamping of some classic scenes. It's perfect to display on a shelf beside attractive tea cups and teapots. 


The kind of large brick I had in mind were a lot larger, however. These were carried in stacks by strong and wiry porters for miles and miles over narrow, winding mountain roads in all kinds of weather. Quite a few of these "tea horse trails" began in south Yunnan and snaked up through Dali and LIjiang, all the way up to the Tibetan Plateau, often ending in Lhasa.


The heyday of this trade was a thousand years ago. It stopped in the early 1900's. Some tea (and some salt) was carried by mules, but most was hauled by human porters. These tough guys carried loads of 60 to 90 kilograms, more than their body weight, on a trip that could take several months. (Porter photo Wikipedia.)


















A few of these large bricks or bales are now re-emerging for sale to collectors.  I saw some in April at a big tea expo I attended here in Kunming. Sellers had opened one which they would brew for you to taste. It was very pungent. Compressed 黑茶。



(Please click these photos to enlarge them.)















The blocks on offer were different ages, and with different amounts of "time and weather" damage. 


157752614_IMG_20190427_095951-940px.thumb.jpg.a57d3efaec183f49dc7ac79d909beec3.jpg         4.thumb.jpg.e248f616e62dd7095ddb1386bcc1a27e.jpg         




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This morning I bought a few "fat peaches" 胖桃 mainly because they looked interesting and I'd never tried them. They are actually a variation of the 水蜜桃 that I like so much. These are from 阳山 Sun Mountain in 无锡市 Wuxi City,  in 江苏省 Jiangsu Province, near Lake Tai 太湖。


1839531539_IMG_20190814_100329(2)-900px.thumb.jpg.78c2ddc5399112fc9825ba7a30bfa548.jpg        789497767_IMG_20190814_100332(2)-900px.thumb.jpg.17dcc7f97e96a3ded12da045094e0dc0.jpg






The sign says 又香,又甜,又水。



Flavorful, sweet, and juicy.


Got home and ate one straight away. 


















These cost 15 Yuan per kilo instead of the 5 Yuan I usually pay. I thought it tasted good, but not three times as good as the local ones I usually buy. Just had to find out first-hand since they look so cool. 

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On 8/6/2019 at 8:02 AM, abcdefg said:

Quite a few of these "tea horse trails"

The pic carrying tea bricks is Sichuan, I have been 雅安 to explore the history and 黑茶, the fermented tea in English. Carried by human climb up the  snow mountains and get to the sichuan-tibet market in 泸定(打箭炉),  then the tibet merchant would use Yak to transport the bricks to Lhasa..


Yunnan's tea trade with tibet is much less compared to Sichuan, and they use horses.

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10 hours ago, Bibu said:

it seems to me as 蟠桃...


Hmm! Yes, I think you are right. I only heard it said and never saw it written. (And Baidu agrees with your version.) 


Many thanks for the correction! Appreciate it!


















Had no idea I was buying such precious mythological fruit. 



The Jade Emperor and his wife Xi Wangmu (Queen Mother of the West) ensured the deities' everlasting existence by feasting them with the peaches of immortality. The immortals residing in the palace of Xi Wangmu were said to celebrate an extravagant banquet called the "Feast of Peaches" (Chinese: 蟠桃會; pinyin: Pántáo Huì; Cantonese Yale: pùhn tòuh wúih, or Chinese: 蟠桃勝會; pinyin: Pántáo Shènghuì; Cantonese Yale: pùhn tòuh sing wúih), celebrated on earth in honor (birthday) of Xi Wangmu on the 3rd day of the 3rd moon month. The immortals wait six thousand years before gathering for this magnificent feast; the peach tree put forth leaves once every thousand years and it required another three thousand years for the fruit to ripen. Statues depicting Xi Wangmu's attendants often held three peaches.

 (From Wikipedia.)

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I am currently ODing on those red peaches. 蟠桃 Fantastic. Lot better than the 黄金蟠桃 IMO 

I notice prices have creaped up, coming to end of the season I supposed?


20YUAN per KG


You seem to get fruit a lot cheaper than I do in Beijing however I do shop in a posh supermarket where everything is very standardized so no need to go poking around in the scrum trying too get the best. It's all prepackaged in my place.


I noticed you mentioned 山竹 being finished for the year. I thought there were too but yesterday my supermarket got a load in. They didn't have any for about a month. I bought a pile, 9per 近 that's a fruit that you have to be careful about . Easy to get a bag and a good deal have turned brown inside . 



Would love to get some rhubarb and make a rhubarb crumble. Although I think my chances of finding custard in China is pretty low. 

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5 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I am currently ODing on those red peaches. 蟠桃 Fantastic.


By the way, according to some legends, they confer immortality. (Or at least longevity.) You might live to be 500 years of age. I only bought three because they were expensive. 


I think you are right about the end of peach season being near. 


5 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I noticed you mentioned 山竹 being finished for the year.


Looks like I was wrong. They have reappeared here too. Not sure whether they might be arriving from a different source. Lots of the early ones were from Thailand. Then we started seeing imports from Vietnam. These latest ones might be from even farther south. I'm just not sure. 

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On 8/16/2019 at 6:54 PM, Michaelyus said:

蟠桃 import season just finishing in Britain (mostly imported from Spain). Snacking on these before lunch!


Glad you found some!

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