Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Buddha's Hand ~ One of Nature's Hidden Treasures
As always, I am at the wonderful Market District. Let me tell you, this is the store of all stores. If you love to cook, it is a chef's heaven! As you stroll through the aisles, I challenge you to NOT be able to find what you are looking for. I also love discovering new items in produce. I came across an odd looking item. It was called Buddha's Hand. I was quite fascinated by it but had no clue as to what it was. It was in the fruit section, OK so I am guessing a fruit. Hmm...I picked it on and smelled it. A lovely aroma of lemon and oranges. Well, it was 6.99 per pound, so I passed. Later that evening, like some weird fate of destiny, I discovered it's use. While watching the Food Network, there it was. What I found out is it is used just like lemon zest. And I use plenty of lemon zest. Now, different from a lemon, there is no juicy fruit in the middle. The entire fruit is used as a zest. Also, the inner white pith is not bitter as is usually the case with citrus, so the fingers may be cut off and then sliced, peel pith and all, and used in salads or scattered over cooked foods such as fish.
Another "fun fact" is it used predominantly by the Chinese and Japanese for perfuming rooms and personal items, such as clothing. A natural air freshener!
So next time you are grocery shopping, pick up one of these lovely treasure. They average about 1/2 pound each and have alot of wonderful uses.