Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus.See all posts »
If you think pomegranates are exotic, check this out. It’s called Buddha’s Hand and I found it at my local market the other day. You can eat it, but it’s typically grown for both decoration and its long-lasting lemony fragrance (it makes a great centerpiece). This fruit is thought to be the first known citrus variety in Europe, and likely originated in India. Because Buddha’s Hand is considered a symbol of happiness, longevity, and good fortune, it’s very popular around the New Year (fall-winter is also its prime growing season).
The scant amount of lemon-like, acidic, non-juicy fruit it contains can be eaten (doesn’t sound too appetizing huh?), but usually the rind is preferred. It can be candied, or used in recipes that call for lemon zest, such as baked goods, fruit sauces, marinades, marmalade, and soufflés. It’s fairly pricey (about $9 per fruit) but I’ve heard of many people growing it themselves in warm climates.
So if you’re feeling adventurous, and could use some good luck for the New Year, head to the exotic nook in your local market’s produce section. I’ve included a link to a recipe for candied lemon zest – just swap Buddha’s Hand rind for lemon rind. Happy New Year – wishing you health and happiness in 2007!