Chinatown Fruit Vendors Bring Tropical Flavors to NYC Autumn
Nestled between the busy corner of Mulberry and Canal street lies a colorful array of Chinatown fruit stands. Although featuring lunch bag staples like oranges and bananas, the market acts like a cultural ambassador, introducing customers to the unique flavors of longans, lychee nuts and red dragon fruits.
Priced by the pound, the market’s reasonable and transparent prices allow customers to have easy access to fresh produce.
“I always get my produce here. Every time I visit, I try to get something new,” says routine customer Harriet Miller.
Originally from a small town in Georgia, Miller finds the market’s selection one-of-a-kind.
“I just tried a white guava the other day and I’m definitely bringing some back for my kids to try,” Miller says as she walks towards the guava stands.
At just $6 a pound, white guavas allow visitors like Miller to use the market as a transportive space, bringing warm tropical flavors to the otherwise brisk New York City autumn.
Much like its range of fruit, the sounds coming out of the market are nothing but diverse. Quick switches from Cantonese to Mandarin to English can be heard as vendors move heaps of muscadine grapes onto their scales. Swooshing red plastic bags make up the chorus of the instrumentation, as a bushel of Thai bananas are packed away for a customer. Rounding out the urban orchestra is the rumbling sound made when new fruits are pushed out onto the busy intersection.
Hard at work, the vendors have little time to chat, but are not shy to entice visitors with the quality of their fruit.
“Very sweet,” one vendor says as she holds a plump mango in her hand.
“Just came in this morning,” another vendor calls out as he piles a fresh stack of dragon fruit.
The cash-only market runs all day until 7 p.m., but the best selections can be found around 9 a.m. when vendors are setting up.
Photo Credit: News 4