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A fruitful endeavor

By Wang Qian | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-14 08:09
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A display of various kinds of durians, including the red-fleshed wild Sukang variety, obtained by Yang Xiaoyang in Limbang, Malaysia, in 2019.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The fruit of his labor is a better understanding of, well, fruit. Having sampled more than 1,000 species, Yang Xiaoyang can easily meet whatever the criteria is for a fruit hunter. He has embarked on a search to peel away the mysteries and get to the core of what so many of us take for granted.

Yang, 32, was born in rural Henan province and he has explored hundreds of rainforests and orchards around the world since 2009, recording over 30,000 species of plants, nearly 10 percent of the world's total.

From the endangered Lodoicea maldivica (sea coconut) that grows only in the Seychelles to the rare Keppel apple, which ancient Indonesians believed would make one's body fragrant with a distinct scent of violets, these bizarre fruits are all documented by Yang.

"Fruit is nature's gift, connecting humans and nature," Yang says. "When you eat a fruit, it is like communicating with nature through the plant's unique language, such as taste or flavor."

Yang, whose online username is Buguai Shusheng, has been labeled the man who has tasted the most types of fruit in China and he has garnered more than 1 million followers on micro-blogging platform Sina Weibo. He also opened accounts on short-video sharing sites, including Baidu Baijiahao, Xigua and Bilibili.

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