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liuzhou

Lotus Pod Season

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It's lotus pod season here in southern China.

 

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

 

driedlotusseeds.jpg

 

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).

 

lotuspods.jpg

 

Here are the popped out seeds

 

Freshlotusseeds.jpg

 

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


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 (log)

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I probably have no chance at a fresh lotus pod in my location, but liuzhou's seductive description of their flavor has insured that if I ever do encounter them, I'll be all over it!

 

What a plant! Roots, seeds, and flour to eat for nourishment of our bodies, and rare beauty to nourish our spirits.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=lotus+flower&espv=2&biw=1097&bih=546&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=42zMVL_VFcimgwT4ioPAAg&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQ7Ak

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I probably have no chance at a fresh lotus pod in my location, but liuzhou's seductive description of their flavor has insured that if I ever do encounter them, I'll be all over it!

 

The seductive description of the flavour isn't mine, but by Lin Yutang in his 1939 novel, "Moment in Peking". Well worth reading for many reasons. 

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Thanks liuzhou,

 

I absolutely love a good read, and will seek this out if it's available in English.

 

Is it?

 

I'm good with languages, but I understand that Chinese is pretty hard to pick up from an English native base. There are so many dialects besides Manchurian as well. I'm daunted by that.

 

And you properly credited your quotes the first time, and I was cognizant of that, but you are the one that brought them to my attention, so I was thanking you for doing so.  :smile:

 

Now I look forward to finding a lotus pod so that I can extract the seeds and experience something I have never before come across.

 

Thank you.


Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)

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Thanks liuzhou,

 

I absolutely love a good read, and will seek this out if it's available in English.

 

Is it?

 

It was originally written in English.

 

I have it both English and Chinese. The Chinese is the translation!

 

Amazon Link


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Today, I found some in a local for supermarket for the first time ever. However, the roadside person was still cheaper and her pods looked fresher.


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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A little off topic, but very interesting fact with lotus.

 

Lotus leaf is  better than Teflon in non-stick qualities. In science, it is called "Lotus effect"

 

They now sell paint, using nano technology, to impart lotus effect to make the paint dirt and water repellent.

 

I think they may be trying to make cookware with lotus effect.

 

dcarch

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How did I miss this topic for all these years? 

 

I have never seen nor heard of these.  I love the picture of the pods with the seeds.  Looks like an alien life form  :laugh: I'd love to taste these someday.

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