Aiyu jelly, also known as ice jelly or ice herb jelly, is a popular Taiwanese dessert made from the seeds of the Aiyu plant.
Its unique texture and refreshing taste make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
But what does aiyu jelly taste like?
And is it worth a try?
Let’s find out.
What is Aiyu Jelly?
Aiyu jelly is a translucent gel-like substance made from the seeds of the Aiyu plant (Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang).
The plant is native to Taiwan and is also found in China and Southeast Asia. The Aiyu plant grows on rocks and trees and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
The seeds of the Aiyu plant are larger than sesame seeds and are soaked in water until they form a jelly-like substance.
The jelly is then sliced into strips and mixed with sugar, lime juice, and water to create a refreshing dessert. Aiyu jelly is often served with a scoop of shaved ice, which makes it a popular summer treat.
What Does Aiyu Jelly Taste Like?
Aiyu jelly has a unique taste that is difficult to describe. Its flavor is mild and slightly sweet, with a hint of citrus. The texture of the jelly is slippery and chewy, similar to the texture of tapioca pearls in bubble tea. The jelly has a refreshing and cooling effect on the palate, making it a popular dessert during the hot summer months.
One of the distinctive characteristics of aiyu jelly is its ability to absorb the flavors of the ingredients it is paired with.
When aiyu jelly is served with syrup or fruit, the jelly takes on the flavors of those ingredients. This makes aiyu jelly a versatile dessert that can be customized to suit individual tastes.
Aiyu jelly is often served with a sprinkle of basil seeds on top, which adds to the unique texture. When soaked in water, basil seeds form a gel-like outer layer with a crunchy seed in the center.
The combination of aiyu jelly and basil seeds creates a textural contrast that is both refreshing and satisfying.
How to Enjoy Aiyu Jelly?
Aiyu jelly can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, depending on personal preferences. Here are some popular ways to enjoy aiyu jelly:
- Aiyu Jelly with Lime Juice: This is the classic way to enjoy aiyu jelly. Simply mix the jelly with lime juice and sugar and serve with shaved ice. The combination of sweet, sour, and icy flavors is perfect for hot summer days.
- Aiyu Jelly with Fruit: Aiyu jelly pairs well with a variety of fruits, including mango, strawberry, and kiwi. The jelly takes on the flavors of the fruit and adds a refreshing texture to the dish.
- Aiyu Jelly with Syrup: Aiyu jelly can be served with a variety of syrups, including honey, maple, and brown sugar. The syrup adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the jelly.
- Aiyu Jelly with Coconut Milk: Aiyu jelly can be mixed with coconut milk to create a creamy and refreshing dessert. This is a popular way to enjoy aiyu jelly in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
- Aiyu Jelly with Tapioca Pearls: For a textural twist, try mixing aiyu jelly with tapioca pearls. The combination of chewy and slippery textures is both satisfying and fun to eat.
- Aiyu Jelly with Grass Jelly: Grass jelly is another popular dessert in Taiwan that pairs well with aiyu jelly. The combination of the two jellies creates a unique flavor and texture sensation that is both refreshing and satisfying.
Health Benefits of Aiyu Jelly
Aiyu jelly is not only a delicious dessert, but it also has several health benefits. Aiyu seeds are rich in fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and promote bowel regularity. The jelly is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
Aiyu jelly is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The combination of aiyu jelly and basil seeds may also promote healthy skin and hair.
Aiyu jelly is a unique and refreshing dessert that is worth trying. Its mild and slightly sweet flavor, combined with its chewy and slippery texture, make it a satisfying and fun dessert to eat. Aiyu jelly can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from the classic combination of lime juice and shaved ice to more adventurous combinations with fruit, syrup, and coconut milk.
Aiyu jelly is also a healthy dessert option, as it is high in fiber and vitamin C, and may have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Whether you are a local or a tourist in Taiwan, aiyu jelly is a dessert you should not miss.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.