Wampee: An exotic taste of tropical fruit found in Sanya
Wampee, also known as Huang Pi (黄皮) in Chinese, is one of the popular tropical fruits on Hainan Island.
Wampees are most often sold in bunches. Juicy, a little crunchy and with its own fragrance, the fruit requires a little work to get open. For those who have never tried wampee before, Hainan’s plentiful sunshine and rich soil make the fruit here extremely good. It’s now on its harvest season, it is easy to find them sold at the markets and street corners in Sanya.
There are many ways to enjoy wampee. The grape-like fruit tastes sweet, with a bit sour. The larger, brown-yellow ones tend to have a sweeter flavor.
Sometimes people also separate the fruit from the skin to make wampee paste. It’s common to remove the seeds, add sugar, and roll the fruit’s flesh into wampee balls, or to make it into a refreshing drink.
(June to July)
In Hainan, the wampee season runs from June to July. The sour-sweet tasting fruits are spherical yellow berries with five sections about an inch in diameter. The leaves are crinkled in appearance. When ripe, the skin changes from green to yellow and the flavor is like a tart gooseberry.
The small fruit is packed with loads of healthy nutrients, including a good amount of antioxidant Vitamin C, organic acids, pectin, and dietary fiber to aid digestion. The fruit is a favorite with children and adults who savor its sour-sweet taste.
As the wampee is good for digestion, it is oftern enjoyed as an after-dinner by the locals.