Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Of nuts and dates look alike

Dates look alike

Some time ago, mum was telling me about the virtues of Gingko nuts. Me being ignorant brat, didn't know what on earth gingko even looks like! That is until I was set out to live in a country deprived of Asian herbs and foodstuff. Unless I'm willing to pay for the exorbitant prices of certain available Asian groceries here, which is often the case, I'm left without typical ingredients like buah keras, proper curry powder etcs.

The nuts

Well these recent years abroad, I've found gingko trees just by the roadside!! The trees are actually HUGE! And as usual, only the females produces fruits. And mind you, we Chinese would be jumping for joy when we find free gingkos - these "babies" costs alot! I'm not too sure about the prices per kilo or grams but they are sure expensive.

The smelly gooy stuff....

I think must be from the fact that the fruit itself smells soo.... HORRIBLE!! Its like rotten meat or poop! And cleaning it, is really a challenge. The nut itself is covered in this apricot coloured mush (once the fruit ripen) and one have to wear gloves to pick them. Why? Cause if you don't, the thickish residue and its "latex" seems to stick to the skin like a 2nd skin!!! And to some, it'll even causes skin rash. But since there's no skipping in getting rid of the mushy and really smelly stuff to get to the nut, scrubing the leftover mush is another must. We want to make sure that its really clean and also the get rid of the smell as well once its dried.

Another fact is that, mat sallehs will try really hard to avoid planting the female tree, thus there's fewer females around for the nuts. AND there's fruits only during winter time.

Now every winter hubs and I would go collect these smelly fruits, and we're being looked at as wierdos!! Once there's even a lady that almost ATE the fruit while I was collecting them. Lucky that it didn't reach her mouth, coz its the fruit that's poisonous AND SMELLY!! YUCKKYYY!!! So next winter, I'm looking foward to collecting them again with Owen. Well he'll have to just stand (or sit in his buggy) for the moment until he learns to hold (or stand still!!) the plastic bag....

No comments: