Fruity Looking Fruit

What the heck?

How gnarly looking is this?

Yes, if it popped up on my computer screen without warning, I might just let out a yelp.

Actually, it arrived by special delivery to my house the other day, hand-carried over by my friend Damian, a gardener extraordinaire who can grow anything, and I mean ANYTHING.

Yes, he grew this Buddha’s hand that’s otherwise known as citron. Once I got my nerves back in check from the sight of this crazy sea anemone-looking fruit, I nearly got high off its fragrance. It’s intoxicating to say the least. It has notes of Meyer lemon, grapefruit and even a little vanilla. Someone ought to bottle this as Eau de Buddha and sell it for a mint.

In fact, some people, including Damian and his family, just use the Buddha’s hand as a table centerpiece to scent a room beautifully and to be quite the conversation piece for unsuspecting guests.

An octopus-like fruit.

All rind, and little juice, this citrus is prized for its aroma. Its rind is treasured for the exquisite candied peel it makes, too.

Buddha’s hand is native to Northeast India, according to “The Penguin Companion to Food” by Alan Davidson, where it was used as medicine and perfume. It’s long had a connection to religion and medicine, and was even regarded as an antidote to most poisons.

When the fruit made its way to China in the 4th century, Davidson writes, it became a symbol of happiness, and was used to adorn household altars.

Mine made me very happy, indeed. I let mine scent my dining room for a few days, before deciding its fate. So what will my hands make out of this Buddha’s hand?

Hint: It’s a process that takes a few weeks. So, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.

More Unusual Fruit: Japanese Hoshigaki

And More: Miracle Fruit

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