April 30, 2012

Romancing the Pipa in Xian You

"Wah...never ever saw pipa?"

It was spring when we arrived. Just in time for the pipa season. Travelling through the countryside was just the right thing to do in spring. and what a delight for us the "Nanyang returnees" and relatives from distant lands. We were very enthusiastic in photographing the pipa and knowing everything about the fruit to the amusement of our hosts. Our team members went down the valley and up the hill slopes to get good shots of the fruit and even the trees and especially the pretty fruit picker..

Luckily there is no sign which says "NO PENTAX" (In Sibu there was once an sign for NO CAMERA - and the Pentax was the camera used for the sign. At that time our Chief had just bought his Pentax...and it caused a lot of laughter in Sibu) ......this time in this farm. Otherwise our Chieftain Meng Lei could not take good photos.

Pipa is now grown all over Fujian especially in Putien and Xian You This fruit is very expensive in Fuzhou at the moment. Also known as the loquat (play /ˈlkwæt/), Eriobotrya japonica, it is in the family Rosaceae. It was formerly thought to be closely related to the genus Mespilus, and is still sometimes known as the Japanese medlar. Other names are Japanese plum and Chinese plum.

The pipa has been cultivated in China for over 1,000 years and has been introduced to Hawaii
The pipa was often mentioned in ancient Chinese literature, such as the poems of Li Bai. In Portuguese literature, it is mentioned since before the Age of Discovery.
The Malaysians love Pipa Gao枇杷膏 which is soothing for the throat and acts as an expectorant. It is good for indigestion and asthmatic attacks.

I have just been told that pipa also has some sedative effects lasting up to 24 hours. No wonder I could sleep so well during this trip - snoring and all. 
(sources - from Wikipedia)


You need any help?

You need any help? (hahaha two different photos - same caption)
3 kg RMB 10.00 - fresh from the tree....and from the basket too..You can choose what you like...We found out the ugly ones are very sweet. The pretty ones are very sour!! There you go....
A grandmother brings her family's pipah to sell from door to door. "Since it is a great season we are giving  away some and selling some." In Chinaese it is half give half sell or 50% off. I would not mind helping her carry her bian dan but I might not be strong enough due to lack of training. All the pipa will be on the road in no time....Both baskets would be at least 30 kgs.

It is really good to be in Fujian countryside during Spring!!


Anonymous said...

I have seen someone growng pipa in Sibu! But then if i can grow in hawaii, then it is not surprising that it can grow in Sibu. Did u bring back any seeds or cutting for planting?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks. If pipa can be grown in Hawaii it can grow in Malaysia too. I brought some seeds and will give them to an agronomist friend who has very green thumbs - just in case mine are not green enough!!

David Chin said...

Loquart or Pipa grows well in NZ; but the fruits are smaller than those in your post. Kiwis don't eat them, only the birds. I tried a few. They are sweet and juicy.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

David..what a pity...We must send more Heng Huas and Foochows over...It is a very lucrative business in Putien...The best are from Shu Feng...branded good (gift)

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