但你知道嗎，早在 19 世紀的南台灣，愛玉就已經是平埔原住民朋友的美食，連來台灣玩的老外都愛呢！
Aiyu aiyu, lovely aiyu, icy and sweet, shining like a jewel……
When it comes to aiyu (Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang), a kind of plant only native to Taiwan and famous of its fruits of which the popular aiyu jelly is made, most people would immediately think of Cou people in Ali Mt., where an abundance of aiyu trees are cultivated and harvested. But do you know, aiyu used to be a dessert of the Plain Indigenous peoples in Southern Taiwan in the 19th century and even some foreign traveler fancied it a lot!
1871 年，來自蘇格蘭的知名旅行攝影師 John Thomson 來到現在高雄甲仙、木柵和荖濃一帶，拜訪人情味超濃的西拉雅族朋友（這裡應該屬於大武壠族），吃到了一種平埔朋友的「魔法果凍」！
後來日本的「植物學之父」牧野富太郎來到嘉義，發現了愛玉，於是在 1904 年發表愛玉成為一種新品種。有人還說，閩南語的愛玉「òr(h)-ghiŏr」（薁蕘/愛玉），就是來自平埔原住民的語言。
所以說，愛玉凍是平埔原住民先發明的嗎？那也說不準，因為目前史書上最早的記載，是說愛玉在 1821 年，就已經被來台的中國商人發現了。
中國文史家連橫著作的《台灣通史》裡，說愛玉在冷水中生成凍，是中國商人在 1821 年在嘉義發現，然後交由自家的蘿莉女兒「愛玉」，以天然的
從此這種全世界只有台灣才有的「魔法果凍」，就變成台灣人的最愛。愛玉的學名 Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang 的「awkeotsan」，就是翻自閩南語的「愛玉欉」呢！
起初愛玉到處都有，據政府的統計，天然的愛玉產量在 70 年代曾高達 12 萬公斤，當時台北迪化街上，到處都是一簍一簍的愛玉果，詩人席慕容就因此把愛玉形容為一簍簍的「原礦」！直到後來，台灣的林木砍伐越盛，漸漸地，愛玉就只剩下台灣高山才有了。
到了 1987 年，台灣省原住民行政局為了鼓勵原住民種愛玉，所以特別選了果膠多、生長快的愛玉品種，發給山區的原住民朋友種植，其中以林木茂盛的阿里山最有名，幫助許多當地的鄒族朋友就業，撐起了一個個家庭。
阿里山鄒語把愛玉叫 skikiya「斯基基阿」，採愛玉叫 poezi ‘e skikiya。聽一些原住民朋友說，幾十年前常有人愛玉採一採就迷路在山林裡，甚至莫名其妙跌死在溪谷裡，回不了家了，讓美味的「魔法果凍」，多了許多神祕的靈異色彩。
分享了這麼多台灣特有的愛玉的故事，不管愛玉是西拉雅族的魔法果凍，是是閩南人的蘿莉果凍，還是鄒族朋友的神祕黃金，下次當你再看到愛玉，是不是對他們的身世，更有感覺，更有 feel 了呢？
不管愛玉是西拉雅族的魔法果凍，是是閩南人的蘿莉果凍，還是鄒族朋友的神祕黃金，小編都講到口渴了 －－ 來一杯酸甜清涼的正港鄒族愛玉凍吧！
是的，現在愛樂活和 17support 一起合作「三人行必有我『施』」－－ 只要我們一起訂三箱愛玉產品，他們就另外捐一箱愛玉給公益組織「人安基金會」喔！
Aiyu, be it the magic jelly of Siraya!In 1871, John Thomson, the famous Scottish photographer, came to Southern Taiwan and visited various local Sirayan or Taivoan communities, where the friendly Plain Indigenous people treated him a kind of “magic jelly”! Thomson was so surprised by the jelly and said,
What kind of magic have these indigenous people cast and transformed the tiny seeds in the cold water into this delicious amber jelly!The Scottish photographer fancied the indigenous jelly a lot and later kept mentioning about it several times in his other writings…… — The “magic jelly” of the Plain Indigenous people actually is the jelly of aiyu! This is why some say the name of aiyu in Taiwanese language, òr(h)-ghiŏr, is a loanword from some Plain Indigenous languages. Later, Tomitaro Makino (牧野 富太郎), Father of Japanese Botany, came to Southern Taiwan and found aiyu, and announced that it was a new specie, which is only found in Taiwan in the world!
Aiyu, be it the sweet girl of Taiwanese!So, was the jelly of aiyu invented by the Plain Indigenous peoples? We do not know. But according to an early record by a Chinese historian, the jelly of aiyu was found and made by a Chinese businessman as early as in 1821: In 1821, a Chinese businessman came to Jiayi, Taiwan, and found that aiyu’s seeds could make jelly in cold water. He then had his 15-year-old daughter Aiyu sell the jellies, and so the jellies became popular soon which everybody started to call them Aiyu! Therefore the fruit jelly only found in Taiwan becomes one of the most popular desserts here — “awkeotsang” in the end of the scientific name of aiyu, Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang, is actually derived from its Taiwanese name òr(h)-ghiŏr!
Aiyu, be it the mysterious gold of Cou!Wild aiyu used to be common in Taiwan.According to the Taiwanese government, the yield of aiyu used to reach 120 thousands kilograms in the 1980s, when people could always see tons of aiyu fruits in the populous shopping street Dihua St. in Taipei City; the Taiwanese poet Xi Mu-Rong even called the tons of aiyu as “tons of mineral deposits”! However, the yield of wild aiyu shrank as a result of the rampant deforestation around Taiwan, and the wild aiyu could since then be found in high mountains where the tall trees are still abundant and healthy. In 1987, Taiwanese government would like to persuade Taiwanese indigenous people into growing aiyu, and so brought them some species of aiyu that can be cultivated and made jelly easily, especially to the Cou people living in Ali Mt. Since then, the harvest of aiyu becomes an important task for the Cou people, supporting them to raise and feed their whole families. Aiyu can bring money, but, at the same time, it has a mysterious aspect, too. In Cou, aiyu is called skikiya, and “to harvest aiyu” is poezi ‘e skikiya. According to some indigenous people, there used to be many Cou people getting lost when harvesting aiyu in mountains decades ago; some were even found dead mysteriously, making the fruits and the jellies more mysterious for many. No matter aiyu is the magic jelly of Siraya, the sweet girl of Taiwanese, or the mysterious gold of Cou, do you get deeper impression of it? Try some aiyu jelly next time when you visit Taiwan, you will fall in love with this traditional Taiwanese dessert and get more (delicious) impression of aiyu!
Where to eat in indigenous communities?Oh, now I feel so thirsty after talking so much about aiyu, aiyu, aiyu…… Let’s have some sweet and delicious aiyu jelly of Cou communities! iLOHAS and 17support, two social enterprises in Taiwan, have launched a program together to support the aiyu farmers of Cou from Niaucna, the remotest Cou community: All the aiyu jelly products in this program come from Niaucna, the remotest Cou community, where there is blue sky and green mountains and forest that the Cou residents there call their home as “the Blue Community”! There the vines of wild aiyu freely entangle the giant trees of Niaucna and compete to stretch as far to the blue sky of Niaucna. The height of the wild aiyu fruits there could reach 20-30 meters high, and so the Cou farmers there have to climb up to harvest them. Thanks to the Cou people of Niaucna so that we can enjoy the delicious aiyu jelly! This time the two organizations have launched two products of aiyu jelly: “Wild Aiyu Jelly with Lemon and Honey” and “Wild Aiyu Jelly with Fruit Vinegar” — Which one would you like to try? Order Now here: https://sites.google.com/site/yiqisanrenxing/ Special Offers only by Sep 30th! Please e-mail to us if you wanna order aiyu jelly but need English help: [email protected]
Photo via abon（CC Licensed）]]>