Friday, 13 March 2015

Picture of the Day: Prickly Fruit

A prickly-looking fruit that has lime green juice inside with edible seeds
Last night after dinner, we wandered into a Taiwanese grocery store and one of the first things we spotted in the fruit section was this yellow prickly thing that has spikes but aren't sharp. We asked one of the staff what it was and they said it was huo shen guo (火参果).

He said that we could slice the top off, add a bit of honey that was in a small packet and then sip the juice through a thick straw that it also came with. We were so curious how it tasted that we bought one to try at about 35 yuan.

In our hotel room we used the small blade on the wine opener to cut the top off and then poked the straw in. Sucking up the juice this way was very tough and at one point the stuff went straight down my throat!

So I cut open the top a bit bigger and got a teaspoon to spoon the fruit juice out.

It smelled like a banana, and inside it was lime green with seeds, kind of like a cucumber. It didn't have much taste, hence the packet of honey, but we didn't add any in to adulterate the natural flavour.

This fruit is apparently good for those who have persistent coughs, and digestion, has lots of vitamins, fibre, and while it can be eaten raw, the promotional material suggests double boiling it with crystal sugar, and that it is good for losing weight because people feel full after eating it.

It really is a dense fruit -- I kept spooning out more and more of this bright green stuff with beige-coloured soft seeds.

In the end it was interesting to try, but not something I'll be desperate to add to my healthy diet regime...

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