The spring is a good time to engage not only your senses of sight and smell, but also of taste. The Guangzhou suburbs — where fresh products like star fruit, strawberries and mulberries are waiting to be picked — provide the perfect place for you to satisfy all these senses.
Here are some spots in the city where you can enjoy a sweet and fun trip of fruit-picking with family and friends. Strawberries in Panyu
The adorable strawberry is one of the most popular fruits of the season. You can easily find strawberry gardens across the province in places like Foshan, Qingyuan and Zhongshan. However, if you think that those gardens are too far away, why not take a tour to Panyu to experience strawberry-picking fun near your home.
In Panyu, right next to Bigui Dadao, lie about 100 hectares of strawberry farms. They are not gardens and parks but strictly strawberry fields, one after another. In this area, you will have an authentic strawberry-picking experience on a real farm.
When picking strawberries, remember not to throw them into a basket. They are tender and bruise easily if not handled with care. Choose strawberries that are a bit hard and evenly colored.
Check out the local dishes after the picking trip. Panyu is famous for traditional Cantonese dishes such as milk pudding with ginger sauce and porridge with pork offal. Mulberries picking in Baosang Garden
If strawberries are not your favorite, here is another option from the berry family. Located in Changang Village in Huadu district, the 53-hectare Baosang Garden has more than 100,000 mulberry trees of different varieties. Apart from mulberry picking, other activities including silkworm breeding, outdoor training and BBQ are provided.
When picking the mulberries, look for the white ones, which are sweeter than the black ones. They should be shiny and firm when you pick them. Use a couple of containers instead of layering the berries in one container or you will end up with a lot of crushed fruit.
Bring your appetite to savor some special delicacies featuring mulberries, such as steamed chicken with mulberry tree leaves and fried rice noodles with tree leaf sauce. Star fruit picking in Yingzhou Ecological Park
Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a popular subtropical fruit found throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific and East Asia.
There are many places in the province that offer carambola-picking experiences, and Yingzhou Ecological Park in Haizhu District is one of the most recommended spots. It is an ecological fruit farm that covers an area of 130 hectares with more than 50,000 fruit trees, including longan, carambola, wampee, litchi, guava and papaya.
The park is located in centuries-old Xiaozhou Village, which features classical Cantonese community landscapes by water, including canals, well-kept ancient buildings, bridges and local folkways. It’s a perfect choice for a day’s escape from the urban area.
When picking star fruit, look for glossy, firm and yellow-colored fruit. A touch of green, especially on the edges, will make for a perfectly ripe fruit if storing them for a few days.
Check out the must-try local delicacy — beggar’s chicken. The chicken is stuffed, wrapped in clay and roasted. It takes more than six hours to prepare a single serving.
(By Wing Xie, Louis Berney)