NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Queens neighborhood of Flushing is one of the largest and fastest-growing Chinese communities outside Asia.
Searching for authentic Chinese snacks and products, CBS2’s Elle McLogan stopped by Flushing’s Sparkling Supermarket as well as the basement of the nearby Golden Shopping Mall.
McLogan came upon some produce that may not be so well known among American consumers, but are common in Asia. Here’s some of what she found:
Dragon fruit: Also known as pitaya, this fruit offers mildly sweet, refreshing flavor that resembles a cross between kiwi and pear. The flesh is often cubed and tossed raw into fruit salads.
Nutrition: Rich in vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats
Preparation: Slice the fruit lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, or quarter the fruit to peel back and discard the leathery outer layer.
WEB EXTRA: How to select fresh dragon fruit
Durian: Be warned! This is a funky fruit, whose scent is strong enough to warrant bans on public transport in some Asian countries. That said, some people love its powerful aroma. Its unusual taste corresponds to its distinctive custardy-firm texture. It’s eaten raw or cooked into sweets and sauces.
Nutrition: Rich in B-complex vitamins, thiamine, dietary fiber, and vitamin C
Preparation: Place the whole fruit on a cutting surface, stem-side down. Using a large, sharp knife, make a slit through the spiky skin, near the top of the fruit. Use your hands to pull apart the skin and tear open the durian. With a spoon or your hands, remove the large pods of fruit, which are sectioned by membranes like oranges. Remove and discard the brown pits, membranes, and thorny husk.
Yardlong beans: Although they taste similar to green beans, yardlong beans boast distinctive texture—one that’s poorly suited to steaming and boiling but ideal for sautéing and frying.
Nutrition: Very good source of folate, vitamin C, magnesium, and manganese
Preparation: Once washed and cut, they’re ready for cooking.
Golden Shopping Mall Basement
41-26 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
41-22 Main Street
Flushing, NY 113551
What’s something nobody knows about but everybody should? Whatever it is, Elle McLogan is tracking it down on The Dig. Join her hunt for treasures hidden across our area. Follow Elle on Twitter and Instagram.