Wondering where to go during the hot summer months? Consider visiting one of Taiwan’s growing regions to experience the sweet fun of fruit picking. This season, delight your tastebuds with plump and chewy lychee, the bright red meat of dragon fruit, plump orange mangoes, and sweet, juicy watermelon while enriching your love of travel.
Taiwan has earned a reputation as a fruit kingdom. Not only are countless varieties of delicious, sweet fruit available year-round, but the pure fun of picking seasonal fruit right off the tree or vine is like nothing else. So come along and enjoy the healthy great taste of Taiwanese fruit.
From Simple Production to Agricultural Tourism
No matter what time of year it is, delicious fruit rich in nutrients is always in season. Especially in sub-tropical Taiwan, where different varieties of fruit are always hitting the market, the choices are numerous and varied, not to mention great for your health.
Constantly on the road visiting different growing regions up and down Taiwan, in addition to his daily serving of banana to maintain his energy level, Minister of Agriculture Lin Tsung-hsien likes to combine some surplus seasonal fruit with milk to make a convenient, nutritious smoothie.
“In the past most consumers only knew fruit from the marketplace. These days, more and more people are getting up close and personal with fruit right where they’re grown,” says Minister Lin with a chuckle. And he has good reason to smile, for fruit tours are becoming an increasingly popular form of recreation, and have begun to attract visitors from overseas.
Especially with the pace of agricultural transformation in recent years, various agricultural growing regions have advanced from Class One production to Class Six recreational agriculture, combining creativity and assorted agricultural products to present a rich, enticing fruit-picking experience.
In addition to enjoying fruit in season and at the source, many tourists can take fruit as a point of departure for diving deeper into local culture and features as they experience the pinnacle of seasonal flavor over the shortest distance between farm and table.
Unforgettable Freshness: Visiting Growing Regions Year Round
Constantly traveling over hill and dale to visit with farmers, asked to share his favorite secret spots Minister Lin Tsung-hsien reminisces about the golden dates in season from December through March in his hometown, their bright gold fruits covering the hillsides. Tart with a sweet aftertaste, used in salads or desserts they are an appetizing complement to meat.
And now, while getting to taste creative dishes prepared with golden dates, visitors can enjoy the unique delights of harvesting fruit right at the source.
Taking advantage of a long weekend this past April, Minister Lin followed Taiwan Provincial Highway Number 3, which threads its way amidst some of northern Taiwan’s most beautiful scenery, on a visit to the major agricultural county of Miaoli. There, he managed to catch the tail end of this year’s strawberry season to sample the rich, tart sweetness of the local berries.
“There are grapes, oranges, and star fruit in the spring, and pears in the summer,” relates Minister Lin as he is taken back to strolls among the orchards, the green vines shimmering under the bright sunlight as he breathed in the intoxicating fruity aroma.
And don’t forget other notable fruit grown around the island, like the watermelon of Hualien, the custard apples of Taitung, wax apples of Pingtung, guava from Yenchao, mangoes of Yuching, the plums of Chiayi, dragon fruit from Changhua, passion fruit from nantou, and persimmon grown in Hsinchu. As the conversation turned to these sweet delights, Lin Tsung-hsien grabbed a specially designed fruit season calendar and started introducing the best fruit each growing region has to offer.
Next time a holiday rolls around, plan a getaway to a growing region or two to catch what’s in season and experience the distinctive beauty of Taiwan’s countryside.
Translated by David Toman
Edited by HanSheng Huang
This content is sponsored by Council of Agriculture
(This article is reproduced under the permission of CommonWealth Magazine English Website. It does not represent the standpoint of Taiwan Scene.)