I first saw these nectarines at a park in Guangzhou, dangling from a tree as part of a botanical exhibit. I learned from my dad that they (the nectarine growers) put some sort of a sticker over the fruit before it ripens to block out light and create a lettering effect. Quite clever, I must say.
Lately these things have been popping up in Beijing’s produce markets. I couldn’t resist buying some, despite the fact that they were almost twice as expensive as other nectarines. I dug through a bin and pulled out “double happiness” (喜喜 shuāng xǐ) and “long life” (寿 shòu). All the “good fortune”s (福 fú) looked a little bruised, so I didn’t get any. They were quite juicy and delicious on a hot muggy day.
I’ve seen this natural lettering on apples too. My dad seemed stumped when I asked him over the phone just a few minutes ago if this type of fruit had an official name in Chinese. “Fat choy guo?” he guessed, meaning fortune fruit in Cantonese. Perhaps. Has anyone else seen these around and/or know what they’re called?