June 29, 2020
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Difference between pineapple and Feng Li
Besides watermelon, pineapples are also best enjoyed during summer. From Chinese medicine perspective, pineapples can clear summer heat and quench thirst, aid digestion and relieve diarrhea. Its sweet and sour tastes are also the remedy for appetite loss caused by the summer heat. Pineapples, which carry thick waxy leaves on top and spiky skin around the body, are sometimes recognised as “Bo Luo” in Mandarin/Cantonese, and also known as “Feng Li” in Taiwan or in writing. But as a matter of fact, “Feng Li and “Bo Luo (pineapple)” are two different varieties! “Feng Li” actually refers to a different variety that was cultivated in a different geographical area and climate. We should be able to differentiate them from three aspects:
The leaves: leaves on top of the pineapple have spiky edges. The leaves on “Feng Li” have smooth edges.
The skin: skin of pineapple appears to be yellow. The skin of “Feng Li” is yellow with a tint of green.
The eyes: Also known as the nails, pineapple has more pronounced eyes (remnants of the flower parts) so they need to be removed before consuming; the eyes of “Feng Li” are not as prominent, thus the fruit can be eaten once the skin is removed.
Despite different varieties, as far as Chinese medicine is concerned, both share the same medicinal properties. Eating pineapples will help relieve indigestion and promote diuresis. Some may have the misconception that pineapples cause damp heat in the body, but the truth is they are mild in nature. However, individuals who are sensitive to the bromelain in the pineapples might develop rash and itch on their skin, a condition known as the “pineapple allergy”. It is advised to soak the skinned pineapple fruit in saltwater for 30 minutes to eliminate bromelain. This will decrease the chance of an allergic reaction.
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