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  • Shona McCarthy

Wax Apples in Taiwan


When I was in Taiwan, the boyfriend I had at the time and I went fruit picking. I the fruits seemed to be a kind of stone fruit. Maybe peaches or nectarines. It was in an overcast day, yet slightly humid. The guide handed us some raincoats. They were dark blue and smelt slightly mildewy. They had hoods with built-in plastic visors. I saw some chickens behind a fence. We gathered fruit in our buckets. Few were ripe since we had come too early into the season. When we got back into our tour van, the driver had some small bags of red fruit. They were shaped something like large figs. But inside the texture was crisp and juicy, and devoid of any sourness or bitterness. In the sapping humidity of the Taiwanese summer, the cool, sweet flesh was a relief. I've never been able to find this same fruit in Australia. I miss it's crunchy yet soft texture. The day I was getting on the plane to go back to Australia, I had a bag of the fruit with me. I tried to stuff myself with it before getting on board, just so I could get a little more in.

(A picture of a paler species of wax apple, also known as jambu. Taken from Wikimedia Commons, 2019.)

It was only much later I learned they were called wax apples, after quizzing friends and family. It's possible to procure the trees in Queensland, but even then, the species isn't quite the same. If I can ever return to Taiwan, I would want to eat wax apples again.

(A picture of wax apples more similar to the ones I'd eaten in Taiwan. Taken from freepic.com, 2019.)



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