Wax Jamboo and Five Other Unusual Fruits and Vegetables at NYC Chinese Supermarkets
1. Celtuce is an extreme variety of lettuce native to southern China. It's also known as stem lettuce, celery lettuce, asparagus lettuce, wo ju, and kaki-jisha. Though the leaves are edible, the cooked stem is the whole point of the vegetable. In addition to steaming and sautéeing, pickling is a popular means of preparation.
Chinese supermarkets, especially in Sunset Park and Flushing, are hotbeds of newly developed and newly introduced fruits and vegetables, and it's rare to make a visit to one of these football-field-size institutions and not see an unfamiliar botanical.
Here are six fruits and vegetables you won't find in Western markets. Chefs take note.
3. Wax jamboo has been called by many names: rose apple, bellfruit, wax apple, cloud apple, and water apple. However, Syzygium samarangense sports a texture more like a watermelon than an apple, with grainy and watery flesh that causes the skin to bulge and crease. The fruit is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Samoa.