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Lotus Pod Season


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#1 liuzhou

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:16 AM

It's lotus pod season here in southern China.

We get dried lotus seeds all year round and there is nothing wrong with them!

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But at this time of year, for a few weeks, we get roadside vendors selling fresh lotus pods. The idea is to pop out the seeds and eat them as they are. I've never seen these in supermarkets or even regular markets - always street vendors

Anyway, the two in the picture below cost me a massive 2元 each (31 cents US; 20 pence UK).

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Here are the popped out seeds

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But what do they taste like? I can't improve on this:

Mulan was sitting on a low chair, picking lotus seeds from a pod in her hand, and looking at the lake through the red balustrades. Redjade, having been brought up in Hangchow, was quite familiar with such things and was working away at the seeds with her nimble fingers, sitting at a high table with Afei and Huan-erh. Mr. Yao lounged in a low rattan chair. Lifu was sitting close to Mulan on the balcony and watching her pick the seeds. He had eaten sugared lotus seeds, but he had never eaten them fresh from the pod, and was staring with great interest.

“Do you eat them raw like that?” he asked rather foolishly.

“Of course,” said Mulan, and she took one she had just plucked out and gave it to him. Lifu tasted it and said, “It is good, but different from the sugared ones. It is so mild you almost don’t taste anything.”

“That is just it,” said Mulan. “We eat it just for its pure mildness and its slight fragrance. That is why a busy man cannot enjoy it. You must not think of anything when you eat it.”

Mulan showed him how to pick a seed, and after eating it, Lifu exclaimed with delight.

“If you shout, you will lose the flavor again,” said Mulan. “You must chew them slowly, one by one. After a while, take a sip of good tea and you will find a pure fragrance in your cheeks and palate for a long time.”


Lin Yutang – Moment in Peking, 1939

#2 Darienne

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 03:44 AM

liuzhiu, thank you for that lovely story. Living in Ontario, Canada, I am unlikely ever to taste a fresh lotus nut, but I do use them regularly in soups.
Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#3 Ptipois

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:08 PM

Though mild, they are tasty, somewhere between raw green peas and fresh almonds. I tried them for the first time in August, in Zhejiang, and they are peeled before eating. Very delicate and delicious.

#4 dcarch

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:09 PM

I have had them long time ago. All I remember is that they were tasty.

The dry ones, the little green thing (? technical name) should be removed, otherwise it will taste bitter.

Lotus seed flour is expensive.

I read that lotus seeds stay viable for a couple of thousand years.

dcarch

#5 liuzhou

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:46 PM

the little green thing (? technical name)


It's the seed germ.

Yes, it's bitter in the dried version, but not in th fresh ones. The driers usually remove the germ, but occasionally miss one.

#6 HungryC

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:59 AM

Here in south Louisiana, it's also lotus harvest time. In cajun french, they are called graines a voler, which means flying seeds. Often eaten raw, but more frequently boiled with salt.

#7 Kent Wang

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:58 AM

Oh yes, that's the one and only thing that I've only ever seen at street vendors but not anywhere else. How odd.

Edited by Kent Wang, 12 September 2012 - 10:59 AM.