Friday, March 27, 2015


These fruits look weird.
But don't be quick to judge. These are not seeds of alien conquerors from the red planet Mars. At first it looked like the local mabolo (Fuzzy apple) to me.  After extensive Googling, it turns out that these are Saturn peaches, which were first grown in China in the 19th Century where it is known as the the pan tao peach.

In Chinese Taoist mythology, it is the "peach of immortality" that grows in the mythical orchards of Mount Kunlun where the goddess Xi Wang Mu, the Queen mother of the West, resides. After 3,000 years, the peaches ripened and she invited eight lucky mortals to a banquet where the pan tao peach was served and the mortals were blessed with  prosperity, eternal bliss and immortality. They have since then been know as the Xian, Eight Immortals, who are supposed to be living in five islands in the Bohai sea in Northeastern China.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Meierhofer
Surprisingly, this relatively rare fruit has a lot of aliases: Doughnut peach, UFO peach, flat peach, paraguayo peach, saucer peach, belly-up peach, hat peach, or custard peach.

This fragrant fruit  has a hint of almond and can be eaten by simply breaking in half and sucking the meat off the skin and the pip. They are sweeter than the regular peach but the meat is whiter and firmer, so there's less juice dripping as you eat it.

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