Wednesday, December 29


Okay, I admit -- its real name is Hand of Buddha. But c'mon. Look at this thing!

I don't think I'd found a religion around anything that hands that looked like that. Mouth feeder tentacles on the other hand...

And now you see why Kate has dubbed this the Cthulhufruit. So what's in this thing?

For starters, nothing. It's all rind and pith, with no actual flesh. Makes me wonder how the thing carries seeds around. Anyway, I had read elsewhere that the pith isn't as bitter, and you can just slice it right into salads, so let's taste spthhhhhhspspthspt okay, whoever said that is going to hell for being a filthy, dirty liar. Like any other citrus pith, it's a nasty, nasty affair. Maybe the one I have was a little old, but still.

Well, plan B is to candy it. Now, this process starts by boiling it in a bunch of water. After it comes to a boil, let it go for 5 minutes, then taste the water. If it's still bitter as hell, do it again. And again. And again. It took me 5 tries to get this down before I actually just gave up. If or when you get to this point, add as much sugar as there is water. Leave the fruit in there, naturally.

Let that go until it gets to 230 degrees, a.k.a. the thread stage. Cut the heat, and dig out the fruit chunks with a strainer. A small one, like half a tea ball. Set the fruit out on a plate full of sugar for dusting.

Let it come to room temperature, along with the syrup you've inadvertantly made.

For those of you who haven't had candied rind before, it's actually got this neat gummy texture, with the outside sugar crunch. And since you boiled most of the bitter out, it tastes nice and light. The syrup is ideal for squirting on things, or sweetening your tea, or adding to seltzer for a refreshing drink.

See? Don't be afraid to try something out of the grocery store, even if it looks like an eldritch horror.

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