A unique fresh fruit culture 台灣水果店文化
台灣不算大但東西南北文化各有差異，尤其在吃的方面。 台南是最早期開發的城市， 當年台南人較富庶，對吃很講究， 所以台南被譽為美食天地。
Although Taiwan isn’t a massive country, there’s quite a difference between north and south culture particularly with regards to food. Tainan (nan means south) was one of the earliest city to develop in Taiwan, even earlier than today’s capital Taipei.
Traditionally the southerners were more prosperous than the north. And their lifestyle a bit more luxurious and relaxing. One way where this was apparently is their consumption of fresh fruit.
以前台南人吃過晚飯後，會手牽手在市內散步，然後到水果店坐下來吃一點飯後的水果。莉莉水菓店於1947年創立，是市內著名老牌水果店。 原來莉莉是老闆的女兒，當時在美軍俱樂部工作， 因為工作關係購得一台美國製水果榨汁機。 店內開始賣新鮮水果汁，成為台南首創。
Taiwan has an abundance and variety of fresh fruit grown locally. According my my B&B host in Tainan, it is common for the locals to have their fruit eating out. Something that is rarely available in other big cities in Taiwan. This started out decades ago. After dinner, people would go out hand in hand for a stroll around this charming city. On the way, they would stop by shops for dessert. Lily Fruit was and still is one of these popular places.
Lily Fruit first opened it’s doors 1947 and is one of the most established fruit shops in Tainan. It was named after the owner’s daughter who worked for the US Army back in those days. Through her work, Lily procured an American made juice extractor. Lily Fruit started to sell fresh fruit juice, a first for Tainan.
Although considered a classy establishment, this is still a down to earth place. Like most eateries in Taiwan, seating is outside the shop by the roadside.
However, there are nuances around the shop, give away signs that this isn’t a run of the mill shop. Newspaper clippings cover one side of a wall and a sophisticated old style staircase leading upstairs. Growing square watermelons is quite an art, and a rather expensive one which is common in Japan. There is a shelf full of them here, all imprinted with messages on the outside.
WHEN IN ROME
入鄉隨俗，有機會到台南，一定要拜訪這家老店。 客人可以自選各式各樣新鮮水果，價格從 NTD40/£1 到 NTD70/ £1.75一份，而芒果約 NTD100/£2.50。 我們點了西瓜，水梨，芒果和蓮霧。 蓮霧是我到台灣後，最喜歡吃的水果。
When you’re in Rome, you do as the Roman does. I came here after dinner one evening. You can choose your own fruit from the many on display and they will prep it for you. Or you can order a fresh fruit juice.
Alternatively, if you want to try different kinds of fruit you can order a fruit platter or select you own portions like we did. They range from NTD40/£1 to NTD70/ £1.75 per portion with mangoes going up to NTD100/£2.50. We ordered watermelon, pears, mango and jambu fruit (bottom right).
Jambu fruit is one of my favourite fruit since I came to Taiwan. It is also known as wax apple, rose apple, bell fruit and a whole host of other names. If you’ve never tried them before and happen to come across them, I highly recommend you to try it out. They are delicious.
JUST A SIMPLE SHOP?
看似一家普通的水果店， 背後卻擁有超過70年的豐富歷史。 吃不單止能填飽肚子，還能認識台南獨有文化。
This may look like a simply shop selling fruit. But if you lift the top layers, there is a lot more to it. There’s 70 years of history beneath it. There’s a lifestyle that started decades ago and still prevalent today. Moreoever, there’s a culture unique to Tainan. All from a plate of fruit.