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Sunday, February 3, 2008


Common Name: Chinese Haw
Vernacular Names: Shan Zha
Botanical Name: Crataegus pinnatifida
Specimens From: China

Chinese haw is just one of the many species in the hawthorn group of fruits (Crataegus genus). It is found mainly in China and Korea.

Chinese haw is a small fruit, about the size of a small crabapple. It is red and dotted with numerous small light brown spots. There are four to five odd shape seeds, clustering mostly in the center of the fruit.

It can be eaten out of hand. It has a mealy texture and tastes slightly bitter and sour. The skin is edible but it is even more bitter. Also available in the jar form where the fruits are preserved in sweet syrup.

Chinese Haw, Dried

There are also the sun-dried, slices of haw which are used in drinks or cooking.

Chinese Haw Drink
Put five to ten slices of haw in a glass and pour boiling water into it. Cover it and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes to get the full aroma out of the dried haws.

You may also add dried red dates and/or goji berries to sweeten it. Or add chinese tea or any tea leaves to make a hot haw tea instead.

Haw Flakes, Haw Jellies, Haw Balls
Various haw candies shown on the left. The ever popular "haw flakes" that comes in several disc sizes. The "haw jelly" also comes in several shapes and is a little soft, like jelly when you bite on it. And the "haw ball" which is round like a marble and it is coated with sugar. It is the sweetest of the three type of candies.

During winter, the candied skewer version is extremely popular in Northern China. About ten fruits are skewed on a bamboo skewer and coated with boiled, hardened sugar. Needless to say, it is very sweet!

Chinese haw is traditionally used in improving blood circulation, digestive aid and slimming diet (claimed), among the several medicinal usages.

Fruit: Chinese Haw; Crataegus pinnatifida; Malinae; Maleae; Amygdaloideae ; Rosaceae.

View other fruits in the same family: Rosaceae [Rose Family].

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Mom Knows Everything said...

They look like a crab apple. It amazes me how up keep coming up with all these different and exotic fruit.

Rita Ho said...

This is a great site, very informative for fruit lovers. Congrats!

I am glad to know that the Chinese haw has medicinal values as I have been enjoying it for years, in its processed tidbit form known as 'Haw Flakes'. Yum!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Oh, this reminds me of my childhood and the crab apple tree on the way to and from school! YUM!!!



morinn said...

this is a very exotic fruit. i have never seen it before. my mother says the candied version is sold in our city market though.

myonlyphoto said...

This fruit has all the benefits that I sometimes need - especially the blood circulation. Thanks for sharing, Anna :)

Emily said...

Wow, this is cool! A whole blog dedicated to fruit.
And why shouldn't there be?

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Anonymous said...

I love to eat Haw Flakes. I am surprised they come from an apple. I always thought they came from a plum. This site is very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Im am looking to buy hawthorn berries.Is this possable in the Philadelpjia area??

Anonymous said...

Mixture of bitter & sour is really a good combination of taste. Beautiful !

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Unknown said...

I have tried boiling dried haw fruits with preserved dates and some rock sugar ( in blocks) & it tastes yummy! Served it chilled with ice! Heard haw can lower cholestrol!

Anonymous said...

Where can I buy a Hawthorn - Chinese Haw tree in the US ( Virginia)?

Anonymous said...

Chinese haw

johndaddy said...

Dried Hawthorne Berries for sale at Hawthorne Berries is used to treat nervousness and insomnia and strengthen heart muscles.
Dried Hawthorn Berries