September 9, 2011

What's the Monkey Peach?

Most new friends we met in Yunnan were farmers who have their own farms and their seasonal fruit harvests. So we had many opportunities of eating the fresh Chinese dates (joh) and the pink longevity peaches. We went fairly wild about pomegranates too. Many of my friends were blessed by big bags of fruits as presents wherever they went because the local people are so generous!!

At a friend's place in Yunnan we were served a whole basin of unusual brown and greenish fruits which I thought were cikus at first. But then we were old that they were  MONKEY PEACH, or MI HOU TAO s which turned out to be the Chinese gooseberry (Actinidia chinensis) or the original Kiwi fruit after much discussion.

It is very refreshing and sweet..and well I just had to control myself from eating too much. And I did wish I could tah pou some back too.

The Kiwifruit is native to southeast Asia The vines are found growing wild in Yangtze valley and the fruit has been known to the inhabitants of China since ancient times

The West was introduced to this fruit relatively late on in history and it wasn’t until the 19th century that samples of both the fruit and seeds were sent to England and c1905 plant cuttings were taken to the United States and seeds sent to New Zealand where the fruit was renamed the "Chinese Gooseberry" where the fruit started to be produced commercially c1940. By the early 1960s New Zealand was exporting crops to the United States where it was re-named Kiwifruit after New Zealand's national bird the "kiwi."

By the 1970s it was commercially grown in California and available for the first time in supermarkets throughout the USA. Soon many other countries also started to grow it

Photo courtesy of Peter Yong

However as an export crop from New Zealand mainly the Kiwi fruit is  full of Vit C and is especially good for garnishing because it is so pretty. I like juices of the kiwi fruit especially. In Brunei each Kiwi fruit is about 90 cents.

It is slightly more expensive in Malaysia. I love cakes decorated with slices of Kiwi fruits as they make the cakes so refreshingly green.

Photo courtesy of Peter Yong

The Chinese gooseberry or locally called Monkey Peach opens up easily and the size is smaller than the Kiwi actually. It has a red centre too.

The Chinese gooseberry, mi hou tao (monkey peach), is also called teng li (vine or cane pear), yang tao (sheep peach) and mao li (hair pear). It is a vine which grows to 10 meters or more in length. The fruit is oval or ball-shaped and 30-50 mm long. The skin of the fruit is thin and yellow-brown or yellow-green, and covered in dusty-yellow fine hairs.

We were lucky as we were in Yunnan when the fruit ripens at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. 

The locals believe that the fruit can cool fever and encourage saliva, benefit the spleen and stop diarrhea. Today we all know that it contains abundant carbohydrate, vitamins B1 and C, organic acids, fat, phosphorous, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, fruit gum, actinidine, alkaline, etc.

The local Chinese told us this fruit is very useful in many different ways.

And here's good reference taken from the Internet for you
1. FEVER AND DRY THROAT; SUNSTROKE, EMACIATION AND THIRST. Take 30-60 grams of fresh fruit, discard the skin and eat. Do this 3 times a day.

2. URINE, RED AND PAINFUL WHEN URINATING. Take 30-60 grams of fresh fruit, crush and add one cup of warm boiled water. Strain to obtain the juice and drink 3 times a day.

3. VITAMIN C DEFICIENCY. Take 60 grams of fresh fruit, discard the skin and eat. Do this daily, morning and evening.

4. BURNING FEELING IN THE STOMACH WITH VOMITING. Take 90 grams of fresh fruit and 9 grams of fresh ginger, crush, squeeze out the juice and drink. Do this daily, morning and evening.

5. JAUNDICE DUE TO WETNESS AND HEAT. Take 60-120 grams of fresh fruit, 60 grams of fresh Japanese St. John's-wort (Hypericum japonicum), crush to obtain the juice and drink. Do this 3 times a day for 10 days.

6. INDIGESTION, LOSS OF APPETITE. Take 60 grams of teng li gan, add water and steam till cooked. Serve in the morning and again in the evening.

7. GASTROENTERITIS WITH DIARRHOEA. Take 30 grams of teng li gan stir-fry till it smells fragrant, add water and steam till cooked then serve. Do this daily, 3 times.

PREPARATION of Teng Li Gan ( a favourite of many women in China) Take unripe fresh fruit, pour boiling water over then leave to soak. Dry in the sun or by the fire until properly dry. This is called teng li gan (cane pear dry).

I am sure moist of my friends would not forget this wonderful eperience of eating the "parents of kiwi fruits".

Note: Next time you travel to China make sure you bring along a pocket knife so that you can enjoy eating different kinds of new fruits.


Bengbeng said...

you sure know how t enjoy life n we untung from yr camera :)

sintaicharles said...

When I was in Hunan, I was also surprised that the locals call kiwi 'Monkey Peach'.It is really steeped in vitamins.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Beng beng...This trip is also God Given. and also some photos are thanks to some good friends. I do like taking photos as you know..President Ling always reminds me to take the front..the back..the middle...the top and the bottom..from all angles so as not to miss anything...Life is to be enjoyed.
And I hope you are getting better every day...May be one day we can sit down for some nice kiwi juice in Sibu!!

God bless.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes..Charles..such a nice fruit...and we must not laugh at the humble fruits that we have...By the your Mum still in Seria?

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