If you've been following me for awhile, you'll know that if it's weird or rare - especially a fruit or vegetable - I'll buy it. So, when I saw a few Buddha's Hand Citrons at Whole Foods last week, I looked for the gnarliest, most-fingered specimen and plopped it into my cart with a grin on my face. Though my Eat a Rainbow class was on the white, black, and brown week, I brought it in - just to see their reactions.
Buddha's Hand resembles something that might have surfaced from the benthic zone or something that should be entombed in a jar of formaldehyde in a collector's basement. But it's a wildly gorgeous citrus fruit that has no juice and no pulp; it's used strictly for the pith and rind. And the scent...it's an alluring blend of citrus and rose. We love it!
Select a fruit that is fragrant, firm, and bright with plump fingers. Avoid Buddha's Hand with shriveled or browned fingers.
Some people have asked me what I do with it. I have pickled them. I have zested them. I have even sliced them thinly and tossed them into salad. That particular fruit [photographed above] has a finger in a jar of sugar, a finger in a jar of salt, three fingers in a bottle of tequila, and the rest was cubed and candied. You'll see it in some Christmas treats. Recipes to come. Stay tuned...