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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Glass of Hand Juice, Anyone? (Nov. 17, 2011)

Oh, how I love Google. (No, they are not paying me to endorse them. But if anyone has a connection with them, I am available to be their spokesperson! I am a big fan.)

This is what I love about the Internet and I suppose Google in specific, since I usually hunt for stuff on that site. I type in three words, and all my questions are answered.

A few hours ago I took one of my wandering walks through a neighborhood I know only slightly and was rewarded by seeing many things about which I want to blog (tomorrow?). I stopped to check out someone’s plants, and near their curb was a tree with a very strange fruit growing on it. Of course, I had my camera and snapped two photos. I knew it had to be citrus, as it had the dotted skin that characterizes this kind of fruit. But what was it? It looked like a jester’s hat, with pointy, curving antennae, or the long-fingered Grinch’s hand. I was fascinated.

When you’re unsure of what you’re looking at, it can be tough to research it online because after all, you don’t have its name. How would I describe it for Google, so that they could help me with a name? It’s a bit cumbersome to type in something like “fruit the color of yellow summer squash, with long pepper-shaped wiggly fingers.” With great restraint, I typed in a mere three words: “unusual citrus fruit.” BINGO! Not only did I get the name accompanying this wacky-looking food, I had its back story, too. May I introduce you to Buddha’s Hand:

I suppose there are various reactions you might be experiencing at this point:

1) You could be fascinated, eyes widened, wanting more info on this rare fruit.

2) You might be slightly interested but mostly wondering what’s on tv later.

3) This topic could be only marginally more appealing to you than waiting at the DMV for three hours.

4) You may be lamenting having spent two minutes of your life reading about the things that cause me to halt in my tracks, take photos, and spend my time researching and blogging about them. Of course, if you are in this last group you may not want to spend another second on my blog, as I always notice unusual things and wonder about them and subsequently share my wonderings with you!

If you are in the first group, stay turned for a little more info on this colorful food. Apparently Buddha's hand originally comes from China or Northeastern India. The fruit has a thick peel and therefore may have no flesh inside. If it does, it may be juiceless and/or seedless. Its skin can be used for zest and in China and Japan it is mostly used for scenting homes and clothing. In Buddhist temples the fruit is sometimes used as a religious offering, and it is preferable that the “fingers” be closed so as to resemble the act of praying. (Wow, that’s a lot of pressure on fruit!)

Part of me is just happy to have seen this food, so different-looking, almost as though it’s from another planet, or perhaps the creation of a fanciful artist like Dr. Seuss. Another part of me is shocked that I’ve never seen one before, in all my thirty-jhfinu years (excuse my cough). It’s not like they are stocked at my local grocery store, but how is it I’ve never seen one until now? Either way, perhaps this serendipitous sighting has opened my eyes to the possibilities of finding wacky foods adorning the front patios of homes everywhere. Maybe I’ll see them all the time now. If I see anything wacky and blog-worthy, don’t worry, you know you’ll see it here!

1 comment:

  1. The Buddha's hand lends itself well to gags when you work at a produce wholesaler.

    My fave was to go up behind an unsuspecting person with the fruit held stem toward my eye, and ask them sheepishly to tell me if I had something in my eye.

    That's pretty G-rated stuff compared to the vast array of gags and innuendo associated with working around Chinese and Japanese eggplant, zucchini, daikon roots, leeks, and um, melons...