It’s Beginning to Smell Less Like Fish Guts


One good thing about the end of summer is the mellowing of Chinatown’s aroma. Not that walking through fish guts in my flip flops is enough to keep me away from barbecued pig and shrimp dumplings during a heat wave, but it’s a nice bonus to take a break.

Those who love to eat with the seasons shouldn’t forget about Chinatown’s street vendors. Along Canal Street, some fall/winter delicacies are popping up that you won’t find in Union Square. And if you did, they wouldn’t be so cheap.

Persimmons abound. The going rate is about 7 for $2. These are the common Asian variety, fuyu, which are pincusion-shaped and can be eaten while they’re firm and tangy or soft and sweet. On Canal, you’ll only encounter hard ones, so ripen them in a bag with an apple for the custard-y experience.


Longans are also everywhere. These are not unlike lichees, in size and shape, skin, pit, and texture. The flavor is mellower, less sweet. These are sold for $6 for two pounds.