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liuzhou

Fruit

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Monkfruit, Siraitia grosvenorii , in Chinese 罗汉果 / 羅漢果 (Mandarin: luó hàn guǒ; Cantonese: lo4 hon3 gwo2), is said to be 300* times sweeter than sugar and is used industrially in making "artificial" sweeteners. Round these parts, they are usualy sold dried and used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat cold symptoms and sore throats, by  being used to make a kind of herbal tea or soup.

 

1789156699_Monkfruit.thumb.jpg.3921613f8a8b6804ca49ae9aa889180e.jpg

Dried Monkfruit

 

However, we do sometimes get them fresh when they are in season, which is now.

 

510697661_Freshmonkfruit.thumb.jpg.90e26739019c3eb6e5394d7bd32981e8.jpg

 

I have to say, I don't really like them. Too sweet with a bitter aftertaste. So far as I can see, most poeple just dry them themselves anyway!

 

The fresh ones are another thing I've never seen in supermarkets or even markets, but usually being sold by street vendors. Must ask why.

 

* Edited to add this is coincidentally the 300th post in this topic. Just noticed.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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"HOT" mangosteens: spicy hot, recently-heated hot, or very-popular-at-least-they-want-you-to-think-so hot? (I assume they aren't stolen-hot. :D )

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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7 minutes ago, Smithy said:

"HOT" mangosteens: spicy hot, recently-heated hot, or very-popular-at-least-they-want-you-to-think-so hot? (I assume they aren't stolen-hot. :D )

 

I wondered the same when I first came to China and saw these "HOT"signs. First time I recall was on a menu, so I assumed "spicy"", but sadly it just means popular, which they rightfully are. Wonderful fruit!

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This morning these were in the stores again. In Chinese they are called 雪莲果 (xuě lián guǒ), which literally translates as 'snow lotus fruit'. They are Smallanthus sonchifolius or Peruvian ground apples. In Spanish, yacón. The reason they look like root vegetables is because that is what they are! They are just a sweet variety and are eaten like a fruit, despite being the roots of a daisy-like plant. They are OK, but  I wouldn't miss them if they never showed up again.

 

393266036_20190908_1153041.thumb.jpg.5d3955b504fb7550dc9d17e2583bf99d.jpg

 

The larger one in the centre was around 11 inches in length.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I saw these in a local NYC supermarket today:

20191006_144524_HDR.thumb.jpg.14b2927158b13ac3dcde106ed45d5863.jpg

 

I didn't buy any - not only were they tiny (much smaller than I've seen anywhere in Asia) but they were hard as rocks... Never a good sign.

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A good lesson in "buy fresh & local".  I love ice cold lychee as an example but often that juice squirting goodness is long gone. Gotta be super vigilant.


Edited by heidih (log)

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23 minutes ago, heidih said:

A good lesson in "buy fresh & local".  I love ice cold lychee as an example but often that juice squirting goodness is long gone. Gotta be super vigilant.

 

That's usually a good thing to follow, but mangosteens are tropical fruit, which would never be local to NY.  If they looked even moderately in the range of decent, I would have sampled a few as a test, but I could tell these would be terrible, no purchase required.  I feel bad for people who have never tried a good one  who are curious to try it, spend $10 per pound only to have them be lousy.

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5 minutes ago, KennethT said:

That's usually a good thing to follow, but mangosteens are tropical fruit, which would never be local to NY.  If they looked even moderately in the range of decent, I would have sampled a few as a test, but I could tell these would be terrible, no purchase required.  I feel bad for people who have never tried a good one  who are curious to try it, spend $10 per pound only to have them be lousy.

 

I agree - often see it with those seduced by dragon fruit. NO taste at a huge expense. Jackfruit though has become quite good both taste and price wise in LA. 

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

 

I agree - often see it with those seduced by dragon fruit. NO taste at a huge expense. Jackfruit though has become quite good both taste and price wise in LA. 

To be honest, even having dragon fruit where it is grown locally, it doesn't really have any taste.  But, it should be very juicy and refreshing.  In Vietnam, they commonly make a paste out of salt, lime juice and chili

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@KennethT

 

$10 UDS /lb  for mangosteen....That's nuts.

 

That is $13/lb CDN, and over 2x what I pay (90 minute flight North of you)!

 

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27 minutes ago, TicTac said:

@KennethT

 

$10 UDS /lb  for mangosteen....That's nuts.

 

That is $13/lb CDN, and over 2x what I pay (90 minute flight North of you)!

 

Yep. Forget about the last time I got them (in Indonesia) it was less than $1 per kilo!  At the $10/lb I would get a couple and savor them if they were really high quality, but that price for terrible quality is just crazy.  I imagine that the fruit buyer for the supermarket has never had the real deal before and had no idea what he was buying, but figured that it's a luxury item that would sell in NYC that they could make a log of $ on.

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On 9/7/2019 at 10:02 PM, liuzhou said:

This morning these were in the stores again. In Chinese they are called 雪莲果 (xuě lián guǒ), which literally translates as 'snow lotus fruit'. They are Smallanthus sonchifolius or Peruvian ground apples. In Spanish, yacón. The reason they look like root vegetables is because that is what they are! They are just a sweet variety and are eaten like a fruit, despite being the roots of a daisy-like plant. They are OK, but  I wouldn't miss them if they never showed up again.

 

393266036_20190908_1153041.thumb.jpg.5d3955b504fb7550dc9d17e2583bf99d.jpg

 

The larger one in the centre was around 11 inches in length.

 

I grew Yacon  for three years, 2005, '06 and '07.  I originally bought 5 "live" plants - 4 survived the shipping.  I planted all four in a 3' x 8' x 30" deep stock tank.  Each plant produced 10 to 18 tubers.  I ignored the instructions that came with the plants and left them in the ground over the winter with a couple of tubers left on each. I mulched them deeply and tented them with clear heavy garden plastic staked down to protect them during hard freezes. The tops looked dead but when it warmed in the spring, they greened up and the tubers I had left sprouted.  

I enjoyed them - I had advice from a person who had lived in Peru and told me they grow at an even higher altitude than here and could survive a hard freeze. Also told me to treat them like the white sweet potatoes.  They were excellent sliced thin and deep fried, sliced and baked with sliced apples and oranges - and lots of butter!  I eventually had a dozen plants.  In 2008 I had some problems and wasn't able to do the garden work and the young man who had been doing the heavy work moved to Utah and I had no affordable help and they died.  I certainly got my money's worth. The plants were expensive but produced well and the first crop was more than enough to satisfy me.

 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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2 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

红枣  (hóng zǎo) - jujubes, Chinese dates.

 

jujubes.thumb.jpg.4758a5f782652a317207d6f07ed09eef.jpg

I see these in local markets, more fresh than these at this time, but i have no idea how to use them.   Help???


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18 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

I see these in local markets, more fresh than these at this time, but i have no idea how to use them.   Help???

 

Round here they are often candied or used in confectionary, but also in soups and hotpots. I only ever use them in soups. In fact, I bought these this morning to use some in a soup later.

 

They are also widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for a variety of complaints.

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8 hours ago, liuzhou said:

红枣  (hóng zǎo) - jujubes, Chinese dates.

 

jujubes.thumb.jpg.4758a5f782652a317207d6f07ed09eef.jpg

 

I'm curious about the maturation point of jujubes.
Jujube trees were imported here in Veneto about 1 century ago. They became pretty popular, almost every home had a jujube tree. This only in a part of Veneto (Venice, Padua and Treviso), they are almost unknown in the rest of Italy. Then in the last few decades they went out of fashion, now they are considered a "forgotten fruit". I have a tree at home, I've been taught to eat them when they just turn fully brown and are still plump, when they taste more like apples than dates, because "when they wilt they are bad". But from what I see people in China eat them when they are wilted and taste more like dates and medlars.
So my question is if Chinese people eat them only after they turn wilted, or if they do just like here and eat them when they are still plump.
Next year I need to remember to let some of them wilt on the tree and make some experiments.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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34 minutes ago, teonzo said:

So my question is if Chinese people eat them only after they turn wilted, or if they do just like here and eat them when they are still plump.

 

I wouldn't say they are wilted. They are picked green, but turn red when they dry. That's when most of them are used. Some are eaten earlier.

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9 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

I see these in local markets, more fresh than these at this time, but i have no idea how to use them.   Help???

 

I use jujubes in many sweet preparations (that's my area). Just now I'm eating a pie made with lemon shortcrust, jujube jam and nutmeg crumble, nice coincidence.
I use jujubes when they just turn brown, meaning they are plump, not wilted like in the photo here. Taste changes drastically when they wilt. From what you write you get plump jujubes, so you should find them at the maturation point I use them.
I'm writing the recipes for some of the things I make. Everything is based on jujube puree, which is quite a PITA to make, so that's the first one. These recipes are made using plump jujubes, so I have no idea if they work with wilted jujubes too.

 

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JUJUBE PUREE


The big problem is getting rid of the stones and the skin, so it takes a good amount of manual work.
There are 2 ways.
1
Wash the jujubes and dry them. Pick one, with a small knife you cut away the pulp from the stone, pur the pulp pieces in a pan. throw away the stones. When you are done (and said more curses than stars in the sky) you add enough water to the pulp pieces just to level them. Put the pan on the stove, cover with a lid, cook the jujube pieces until they are tender.
When the pulp is tender you strain the pieces (don't waste the cooking liquid, it's delicious), then make a puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Then you pass it through a food mill to eliminate the skin pieces.
2
Wash the jujubes and dry them. Put the jujubes (whole) in a pan, add enough water to level them. Put the pan on the stove, cover with a lid, cook the jujubes until the pulp is tender.
When the pulp is tender you strain the jujubes (don't waste the cooking liquid, it's delicious), then pass them through a food mill to eliminate the stones and the skins.

 

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JUJUBE JAM


1000 g    jujube puree
600 g    sugar


Put jujube puree in a pan, add sugar and mix, cook until you get a jam.


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JUJUBE SORBET


110 g    jujube cooking liquid
110 g    sugar
280 g    jujube puree.


Make a syrup with the jujube cooking liquid and the sugar.
Add the jujube puree and mix with immersion blender.
Churn the sorbet base in an ice-cream machine.


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JUJUBE PATE DE FRUIT


300 g       jujube juice
300 g    sugar
10 g      pectin NH
8 g      lemon juice


Run some jujube puree in a food juicer until you get 300 g of jujube juice, you should need around 400-450 g of jujube puree. Alternatively you can use 1000 g jujube cooking liquid and reduce it to 300 g.
Mix sugar and pectin to avoid lumps.
Put the jujube juice in a pan, heat to around 40-50° C. Add the sugar pectin mix, whisking to dissolve them and avoid lumps.
Cook to 105° C whisking constantly, pour the pate de fruit in iron bars and proceed as usual.

 

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JUJUBE MOUSSE


300 g   jujube puree
150 g   sugar
7 g     gelatin sheets
300 g   cream (35% fat)


Mix jujube puree and sugar, heat to around 60°C so the sugar dissolves (microwave works fine). Add the gelatin sheets (soaked and squeezed, as usual), mix well.
When the jujube base drops to 30° C, whisk the cream until you reach semi-whipped texture.
Fold the cream in the jujube base.

 

I used this mousse for an entremet made with prickly pears and cloves.

 

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JUJUBE GANACHE


360 g    white chocolate
280 g    jujube puree


Bring jujube puree to a boil, add the white chocolate (in small pieces), wait 2 minutes, then mix to get a smooth ganache.

 

I used this ganache for a dual layer praline (filled bonbon), the other layer was a rosemary ganache made with dark chocolate.
You can use this ganache for filling macarons too, but you need to raise the jujube puree to 400 g.

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

Teo

 

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18 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

I wouldn't say they are wilted. They are picked green, but turn red when they dry. That's when most of them are used. Some are eaten earlier.

 

Ah, good to know, thanks.

Sometimes I tried to taste a jujube that I forgot on the tree (did not notice or what else) and it "wilted" (please tell me the correct English term, "wilt" is what I get with google translator), taste is really different.

I never tried to pick them green then let them dry, always picked them brown and used them immediately. Next year I will try this method, I'm really curious. I suppose it gives better results, since this is what came out after centuries of tries, while here we have really few experience and treated jujubes like other stone fruits out of ignorance.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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10 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Here they are when newly picked.

 

Perfect, thanks.
We pick them when they are like in this photo.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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I wouldn't have expected them to so resemble crabapples. Very interesting.


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"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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