Mar 25, 2006

Imposter fruit

Counterfeit merchandise abounds in China. Rip-off designer apparel, fake booze, and even coffee shop logo infringement, they've done it all. In the interest of consumer awareness, I feel it's my duty to point out one type of fraud that's not quite as obvious. It's the fruit equivalent of the fake Louis Vuitton handbag, otherwise known as the Chinese grapefruit or pomelo.

At first glance, the pomelo's size and color aren't much different from an authentic grapefruit. However, upon slicing it, you'll discover a bunch of nasty seeds and semi-sweet, gristly pulp. It's like an oversized, defective orange. Compare this to the authentic item, the Florida ruby grapefruit, which is fresh and juicy, with a delicate tangy-sweet flavor, leaving you craving more.

Some expats living in China write about buying counterfeit "Sunkist" brand fruit, which is harmless enough. In that case, you're still getting what you paid for, an orange or whatever, although it may not be from the country you had though. What I'm talking about here is outright deception. You're not getting what you think you bought.

And if you're wondering, the prices for one piece of fruit in Beijing:
Chinese grapefruit / pomelo: 2 RMB ($US 0.25)
Imported Florida grapefruit: 8 RMB ($US 1.00)
Imported Taiwan grapefruit: 12 RMB ($US 1.49)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

quite an observer and analyst

1:57 AM  

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