Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Buddha's Hand Citron

We play with our food! How can you not when it looks like this?!?

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...

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