|Wax apple, also known as Java apple or bell apple, is not only a tasty fruit but also good for your health.
The fruit has a waxy appearance and is bell-shaped. Its colour varies from pink-reddish, crimson, greenish-white to cream-coloured. It tastes slightly sweet and sour with a similar fragrance to that of an apple.
The fruit originated from the Malaysian Peninsula and the Andaman Islands. In the 17th century, Dutch colonists introduced wax apple into China's Taiwan from Java.
With breakthroughs in cultivation, the wax apple has become a good choice during the hot summer. The top-quality wax apples in Taiwan are acclaimed as "Black Pearls." Most of them are produced in Pingtung County, where the salty soil is good for wax apple cultivation.
Wax apple has many medicinal applications: The flowers are used to treat fever and diarrhoea. The phytochemicals in the wax apple tree show some antibiotic action against staphylococcus aureus, candida albicans and mycrobacter smegmatis.
In Taiwan, people make wax apple soup with crystal sugar to treat coughing without phlegm. The fruit is also served as a cold dish on banquets to relieve the effect of alcohol.
The fruit can be sliced and dipped in salty water for a while, then fried with cucumber and carrot slices. The result is a great dish for summer with pleasant colours and tastes.
The sweetness of the wax apple depends on its ripeness. The sweetest wax apples are dark red at the end.