The Yum Berry
15.06.2013 - 15.06.2013 81 °F
It's yang mei season! Never heard of yang mei? Well, me either. You MAY have heard of yumberry which is what some companies have called it in the past, although if I had seen a package that said yum berry flavor, I would have assumed it to be in the category of Crunch Berries or snozz berries. And that brings us back to the name yang mei, which is what it's called in China. It's related to a bay tree (like where we get bay leaves). The leaves look like bay leaves, but I've never seen berries on a bay tree in the US. We passed some street vendors selling these in berry crates meant to hold raspberries or strawberries. They're about the size of a medium strawberry, but cranberry colored. The outside looks like one of those marzipan sugar decorations. It almost glitters like a raspberry. But the flavor is probably closest to an acai (or what I think acai tastes like based on all the anti-oxidant treats I've had). It's sweet and juicy and a little tart. It's no wonder it was called yumberry in the few products that used it for flavoring.
And, like the mighty acai, the yang mei is full of anti-oxidants.
Why isn't this is the US? Ah ha, here's the catch, it's only around for a few weeks at the end of spring/beginning of summer. And once it's picked, it only lasts for a few days before it starts to get moldy and mushy, so it's best to eat as fresh as possible. But when it IS in season, it seems to be at all the fruit stands. I even saw a little old lady selling it from a basket on the street.