We adore eating fruit in the summer. Besides being delicious, it’s healthy, full of flavor, and hydrating. But we’re not talking apples and bananas (nothing against apples and bananas). Some of our favorite fruits, like guava and pitaya, are considered exotic in the U.S. and Canada – but are extremely common in Taiwan and Asia.
We’ve created a list of awesome fruit and oolong pairings. Read on as we introduce them to you!
Shakya + LiShan Oolong or Tie Kwan Yin Oolong
The fruit of an evergreen tree, shakya (sugar apple) is grown year-round in Asia. Shakya has a fragrance that’s sweet but not overpowering, with a white, soft interior. Studded with seeds, it’s not easy to eat – but the prize is worth the effort: The flavor is delicious. It’s so popular in Taitung County that travelers will find it for sale up and down the coast, and even in sugar-apple outlets. Pair it with LiShan Oolong or Tie Kwan Yin Oolong for a refreshing tea session.
Other monikers: sugar apple, custard apple, Buddha-head fruit.
Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) + Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong or Wenshan Baochung Oolong
Pitayas, also known as dragon fruit, are stunningly pretty, with a bright pink exterior and black-and-white seeded interior. They’re also good to eat (no prep required – they’re eaten raw) with a creamy texture and a mild taste that’s reminiscent of kiwi or melon. Go ahead and eat the seeds! They’re a good source of lipids (you must chew them first) and have a nutty flavor and a pleasant texture. Dragon fruit goes great with Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong or Wenshan Baochung Oolong.
Fun fact: Dragon fruit blooms only at night, giving it alternate monikers of “moonflower” or “queen of the night.” They’re so striking in appearance that they’re also used as an ornamental plant in gardens or as house plants.
Guava + Dong Ding Oolong or Rose Oolong
Guava’s our personal fave, and not just because it’s a powerhouse of health benefits (guava can be used to treat cough, cold, high blood pressure, constipation, and more). Guava is pear-shaped and either light green, yellow, or maroon, and has a unique flavor that some describe as being a cross between a pear and a strawberry (we think it’s indescribable). Guava is eaten raw, or as a jam or jelly. Try it with Dong Ding Oolong or Rose Oolong.
Why it’s so good for you: Not only is guava full of nutrients, it’s also one of the least chemically treated fruits out there, as it doesn’t require excessive use of pesticides to produce.
Persimmon + Oriental Beauty or Magnolia Oolong
Uncommon in the U.S. and Canada, the persimmon is Japan’s national fruit, and available widely across Asia. Like an apple, it has multiple varieties (Hachiya persimmons are great for baking, Fuyus are yummy eaten raw). Persimmons are reddish or orange in appearance, with a super-sweet flavor and chewy texture. We like eating it with Oriental Beauty or Magnolia Oolong.
Getting literal: The word “persimmon” means food of the gods.
Know your type: Persimmons come in astringent and non-astringent varieties. Make sure you buy the latter to ensure a sweet, non-bitter taste.
Roseapple + Ginger Lily Oolong or Jasmine Oolong
Besides the romantic name, roseapples have a pleasant crisp texture and white, rose-scented fruit. It’s purported to have detoxing benefits, as well as helping to improve digestion, protect against diabetes, improve immune function, and more. The texture is slightly reminiscent of an apple, but closer to a watermelon – extremely juicy and refreshing, especially on a hot day. They complement Ginger Lily Oolong and Jasmine Oolong perfectly.
Get your vitamins: Roseapples are great sources of Vitamins A and C.
What’s your favorite fruit + tea combo?