It's Now Yangmei Season in Shanghai, Here's What You Need to Know

By That's Shanghai, 2018-06-16 04:35:00

It almost saddens us to write about yángméi (杨梅). They really are the only thing about summers in Shanghai that we look forward to.

Fruit stands and wet markets will be teeming with these knobby little gems and then, as quickly as they appeared, they're gone.

READ MORE: How to Get the Most Out of Your Local Wet Market

Fortunately, Shanghai is right next to Zhejiang Province, where most yangmei are cultivated, so we get our fair share here. But you have to act fast. The season starts in May, usually around Dragon Boat Festival, and only lasts a few weeks. In fact, right now it's already half over — yangmei season ends in late June.

Image by Aimee Burlamacchi

So how do they taste? Downright delicious! Imagine everything you love about strawberries and blackberries and fresh currants in one convenient, pulpy, juicy and beautiful little fruit.

For a limited time, Strictly Cookies is offering yangmei cookies. Both tart and sweet, the muffin-like Coco's Yangmei Paradise cookie (RMB70 for a pack of five) is baked with yangmei and coconut.

Yangmei Cookies
Image by Dominic Ngai

That's columnist and Logan's Punch proprieter Logan Brouse also likes to use them in cocktails. Order the Xiao Mei Mei (RMB80) while it's still in season.

Yangmei Cocktail at Logan's Punch
Image via Logan's Punch

How to pick them

Look for plump, blemish-free berries about 1.5-2.5cm in diameter. They can be anywhere from bright red to a rich deep purple. In our experience, the darker ones are much sweeter and juicier.

Image by Aimee Burlamacchi

How to eat them

Simple. Pop them in your mouth and spit out the pits.

Being a natural product, certain little bugs tend to enjoy these tasty fruits as much as humans do. However, they are easily evicted from their yangmei hangouts with a little cleaning. Brian Tan, patisserie chef of HoF, recommends soaking them in salted water for at least two hours, rinsed with a little vodka for extra cleanliness.


RMB15-30/jin (斤, 500g), prices may vary between larger and smaller ones.

[Top image by Aimee Burlamacchi]

This article originally appeared on on June 7, 2017. It has been updated and republished on June 16, 2018.