HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Lian Wu? (Wax apple/nose apple/etc.) available in LA?

Has anyone ever seen these available for sale anywhere in LA? I've eaten them in Taiwan and Thailand, but have never seen them here.


Mr Taster

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have seen them before (very rarely) at Hong Kong Market in Rowland Heights.....

    2 Replies
    1. re: jkao1817

      Do you recall at what time of the year you have seen them?

      Mr Taster

      1. re: Mr Taster

        I am sorry I do not remember when.

        Next time I see them I will let you know.....

        I do remember eating them during the summer in Taiwan.

    2. Typically, you can find these during the Autumn moon festival at many of the SGV chinese or vietnamese markets. Not always the red kind, however.

      1. How interesting, it is similar to a fruit we used to eat in Jamaica.

        Everything you wanted to know about it, including the bearing seasons. I wonder if it could be grown in LA from a seed? Not sure exactly what they mean by extra-tropical, but if they grew it in Israel, maybe it would work here.


        Also, I wonder if they would ever have it in Indian markets in Artesia.

        1. Mr Taster, do you know about the Vietnamese fruit and flower shop at Bolsa and Magnolia? I couldn't tell you what the name of it is, but it's in the same plaza as the gigantic Viet Market, the Banh Mi Che Cali and the hot vit lon place, on the (I think) SW corner.

          When they're in season -- which, I seem to recall, is Septemberish -- they have them there. They also sell dragonfruit, cherimoya, durian, breadfruit and mangosteen in their various seasons.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            From my link


            In Ceylon, the fruits are ripe from March to May; in India, the tree blooms in March and April and the fruit ripens in May and June; in Java, flowering occurs from April to June and fruiting from June to August.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Hm, no I don't believe I've ever been here.... thanks DU. I had thought that it was not possible to buy mangosteen in the US due to some sort of import ban?

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                The ban was lifted last year. The imports are not as fragrant as what you find in fruit stands in southern Asia but they are still very tasty.

            2. Many family friends grow this fruit but I don't recall ever seeing them for sale in stores... sorry!

              They can grow quite well here... one family friend has several trees that bear plenty of fruit.

              1. We have them available for sale in Texas right now, so they might be coming in season. In Hawaii we have them growing in our yard - red one s and white ones.

                1 Reply
                1. re: HKSM AUSTIN

                  Can I get these fresh anywhere besides Central Market, I'm in North Texas

                2. Good post!! Man, I love lian wu. I had them recently in TW and they were sweet!

                  1. I bought a couple lbs from the family who had a tree in Cerritos. Pretty sweet

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rog

                      What is "the family" in Cerritos? Sounds like a lian wu mafioso ring.

                      Mr Taster

                    2. Heard of Lian Wu (red wax apple) was available in the Exotic fruit store in Toronto.

                      1. So, going slightly OT, what are they like?

                        Are they so wonderful (like mangoes) or unique (like, um, durian) that they're worth seeking out at any price and distance, or are they more like, say cornelian cherries, (which made me think "hmm. These'd be OK, I guess, if you couldn't get any ACTUAL cherries, but once you could get THOSE, these would go by the wayside") or star-fruit ("OK;. Interesting LOOKING, but they don't really taste like much...")?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                          The latter. They're not like mangosteens, which drive mortal men to madness.

                          Good to see you back, RGS.

                        2. Replying to my own thread, 3.5 years later.

                          DU, I never did check out the fruit place you recommended at Bolsa and Magnolia (forgot about it, actually, until rereading it just now) but I was in Little Saigon this past Saturday (where I finally scored the youtiao and house special soup at the real Trieu Chau-- absolutely delicious) and found some lien ou at the fancy fruit shop near the back entrance of the Asian Garden Mall. The shop also had fresh durian and those Asian guavas (the green skinned, grassy flavored ones) which have the distinct benefit of sending my wife into throngs of euphoria.

                          Just ate one today. They were delicious. I had forgotten how the texture is crisp and lightly sweet, a little sour, a little astringent, with a crisp yet oddly spongy meat. The closer you eat to the core, the more astringent and sour the fruit becomes.

                          Would love to know where to find these closer to home-- say, somewhere in the San Gabriel Valley.

                          Mr Taster

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            I'm going to bump this because for some reason I just got a craving for them. Sounds like they may not be in season right now, but any more consistent places to find them nowadays?

                              1. re: emyllis

                                Thanks, will have to see if they're still selling them!

                                1. re: emyllis

                                  Wow, that's great to know. Thanks for posting this. We're heading to Taiwan in a day so I plan to get my fix there, but I'll be curious to compare them with Mr. Wu's bounty when I return.

                                  Mr Taster

                            1. My all time favorite fruit. Just bought a tree from San Gabriel Nursery. They say it will fruit this year. Will keep you posted.

                              1. Not quite August yet, but has anyone seen these in the farmers markets in Pasadena or SGV recently?

                                Edit: Just saw this on the Temple City Farmers Market Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb.... May make the trek to SGV tomorrow to see if they have any still.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                  Also avail at Monterey Park FM. He was at Alhambra FM last year. Sold out at AFM in an hour.

                                  MPFM had 'em until late evening, because, really, who the hell is going to pay $10 for ~2 lbs of tiny lian wu? They were only available in $10 bags last week. WTFBBQ.

                                  1. re: TonyC

                                    I guess I the kevin am going to pay $10 for two pounds, as I did at Temple City FM on Sunday (http://instagram.com/p/qalME2A-t-/). They are smaller and not as flavorful or juicy as the ones I've had in Taiwan, but I haven't had any in nearly a decade, so it was nice to get a taste of "home".

                                    1. re: TheOffalo

                                      Imported ones are often available at R99, Hawaiian, etc. They are much bigger, but pretty damned unflavorful as well.

                                      They were so bad I ended up throwing the remainder into compost one year, despite paying quite a bit.

                                      1. re: TheOffalo

                                        mind if i ask which colored ones did you like when you were in taiwan?

                                        1. re: catbert

                                          My gut reaction when I saw TheOffalo's pic of Temple City lian wu was that they looked unripe, but I don't know that for certain. I can tell you that I've only ever seen red ones (in both Taiwan and Thailand). And lots of them-- they're as common as apples here.

                                          Also, it's not germane to this conversation, but I remember the ones in Thailand (Bangkok) having a more elongated shape.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            the elongated ones are probably the rocket or missile varieties. they just started getting them in at the nurseries here but they're too young to have fruit.

                                            most common are the pink and red varieties here (rose apple and black pearl)

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              I'm not sure if I've tasted an unripe one in Taiwan, so I can't say for sure but these tasted like they were just blander (or milder to use a nicer word) rather than what I'd guess to be unripe. However, after a few days in the fridge, the taste is more pronounced. The proprietor did say they were best eaten cold. Don't know if the temp or the time helped concentrate the flavors.

                                            2. re: catbert

                                              They were definitely on the redder side in Taiwan and maybe 1.5x the size.

                                          2. re: TonyC

                                            prices dropped to $8 for 2 lbs in recent weeks. probably due to the shrinking size as the season is basically over...

                                            i'm not going to bend my ass over for nostalgia fruit.

                                        2. Oh Gawd. My summer in a nut shell. I've gone to so many nurseries. I honestly think my mom will buy every variety there is.

                                          Anyways the fruit market in little Saigon that's in the plaza with a market and bank of America at bolsa and magnolia is where i find em easily. One shop lets you pick out but most are Saran wrapped to a styrofoam tray.

                                          Right now the red and pink ones are fruiting so you might find them soon.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: catbert

                                            There are three shops in that plaza (ABC Market, Banh Mi & Che Cali, Lien Hoa, etc.). Two of them this past Sunday had lian wu out for the picking, one had them on the trays. I think they taste bad, though. I bought some insanely good mangosteen from Thai Son, though, for $6.50 a pound.

                                          2. Oops. Just realized someone already mentioned this place. My bad

                                            1. just stopping in to mention that the fruit store that's across the street from lee's sandwiches on bolsa ave (by the video store) has wax apples $5 lb. the bags run around 3 pounds and they're quite large