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5 Chinese Fruits That You've Probably Never Heard Of

Food is such a huge part of Chinese culture, so learning about different aspects of the country’s food culture is really important. One of the most interesting parts of the food in China are the exotic 水果 (shuǐ guǒ) - fruits - there!

To shed more light on some of the coolest, most interesting fruits in China, we summed up a list of our top 5 picks for Chinese fruit that you probably haven’t seen or tasted before!

Depending on where you live and where you’ve travelled, you may or may not have heard of (or had!) these fruits on our list. 

Either way, we highly recommend you try these awesome and unique Chinese fruits for yourself when you have the chance!

1. Dragonfruit - 火龙果 (huǒ lóng guǒ)

The Dragonfruit is probably one of the most famous Chinese fruits, due to its unique appearance. Its skin is a purplish-red color, with a white or red inside and little black seeds. 

It doesn’t have a very strong taste, and is a bit similar to a pear. You eat just the inside and the little seeds (not the skin). 

It is full of vitamin C, and has quite a few B vitamins. It’s good for strengthening the immune system, healing, and respiratory issues!

2. Bayberry - 杨梅 (yáng méi)

The bayberry is a fruit with an interesting, fur-like texture and a bright purplish-red color. 

They are sweet and sour, like a mix between a strawberry, blackberry and a pomegranate. When eating, you can eat the whole berry, but be sure to clean it well and look out for insects.

The bayberry packs a lot of antioxidants, and is good for reducing stress, eyesight, and arthritis, among other things. 

3. Lychee - 荔枝 (lì zhī)

Chances are you have seen this delicious fruit (or had dessert flavored like this) before! It’s a very common dessert in China, and in areas with large Chinese populations in other countries as well. 

It has red skin, and the inside is white and almost a bit see through. It tastes sweet and a little tangy, a bit like a sour white grape. All you have to do is peel the skin and just eat the meat inside (not the skin or the seed).

Lychee is also high in antioxidants, has lots of vitamin C, and is good for increasing energy, improving blood flow, and more. Since it has a lot of sugar, it’s best to limit the amount that you eat. 

4. Loquat - 枇杷 (pí pa)

These are one of my personal favorites! Loquats are orangish-yellow on the outside and have seeds on the inside. 

They have a sweet flavor which has a tangy citrus feel to it. It’s a bit like a mix between an apple, pineapple and apricot. The meat of the fruit is juicy, just like a peach.

You can either peel it or eat it with the skin, but be sure to cut it open first to remove the seeds, which should not be eaten.

These fruits are high in antioxidants, and have a lot of folate and vitamin B6, and are good for immune function, healthy vision, energy production and more!

5. Durian - 榴莲 (liú lián)  

Love it or hate it, the durian is one of the most notable fruits out there! 

Durian is actually native to Malaysia, but since this fruit is quite popular and common in China, it made the list!

On the outside, it looks interesting, with it’s hard, green skin with sharp little spikes. Inside the durian is a yellowish-white meat. 

But, it’s appearance actually isn’t the most notable part of the durian. Instead, it packs a pungent smell! To some, the smell is not bad at all, but for many people, the smell comes off as something similar to rotten onions, rotten eggs, smelly feet, or stinky cheese.

Though that may not sound appetizing, many people really enjoy the taste! It has the texture of a rich custard, and those who like it say it tastes sweet like almonds. Those who don’t think it tastes like a mushy rotten onion. 

This fruit is so notorious for smelling terrible, that it’s actually banned on public transportation, and in some hotels and airports in China and some other countries in Asia, so as not to offend other people. 

You just eat the inside meat (not the skin or the seed inside). It packs a lot of calories, but a lot of benefits too! It contains a lot of B vitamins, sulphur, and antioxidants. It’s good for muscle growth among other things, but keep in mind that it’s not for everyone - it’s best for people with certain conditions like diabetes or those that are pregnant to avoid it. 

Learn More

We hope you enjoyed this list of 5 different Chinese fruits!

Let us know in the comments below: Have you tried any of the fruits on this list before? If so, did you like them? 

And, if you have tried any other Chinese fruits not on the list, let us know as well!

If you want to learn how to say more different foods in Chinese, be sure to check out this lesson from our Beginner Conversational Course!

Level 1 of the course (with over 40 lesson videos!) is FREE, guiding you through pinyin pronunciation and building a basic foundation in Chinese, with some useful vocabulary and sentence structures along the way.

Get started on the first lesson here!