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A celebratory blog post today, because the Jasmine flower I planted outside my doorstep here in Fuzhou last year has finally bloomed!
It's something of a local obsession in Fuzhou - alongside fishballs, Jasmine tea is one of our most famous exports, and you see it every day in recipes and growing by the roadside. A while ago, someone even wrote a song about it!
Jasmine is called mo li hua or 茉莉花 in Chinese, and the native species of jasminum sambac only really comes into full flower in the heat of summer, in July and August, when the temperature hits around 35-40 degrees every day.
It's pretty spectacular - in the mornings, women just in from the farms will stand on busy street corners selling small bags of the flowers to fragrance your car, and there's even a street in Fuzhou city centre (not far from Dong Jie Kou) where the entire street smells of jasmine. Hence the phrase "in Fuzhou, the jasmine smell is so strong you can hear it".
Sadly, my little plant is not really big enough yet to really notice the smell, so I'll have to resort to sniffing bags of my Jasmine Pearls tea again until next year.comments powered by Disqus