Sunday, August 17, 2008

Freaky Fruit Vol 4: Lotus Pods

The area around Long Xuyen has a lot of beautiful Lotus fields (and rice paddies, lots of rice paddies).

Little did I know, Lotus Pods are edible. I had thought they were for decorative purposes only, for use in "exotic" flower arrangements after being dried and spray painted a complimentary color.

Honestly, I think they should stay that way. They're too much work: You have to break open the pod, then husk the seed (I nearly ate one without husking, causing a shriek from a nearby local), and then you get a boring, bitter seed. The lady that sells them also sells boiled peanuts, which (although my southern friends may disown me), I hadn't actually tried until I got here. And they are good! And very little work.

My other objection - as they ripen Lotus Pods start to get creepy.
This brings the sum total of "Vietnamese Foods I Don't Like" to 2, the other being "Milk Paper" which is essentially dried milk in sheets. In my former office, the lounge doubled as our lactation room, and acquired a yicky dried milk smell, like milk spilled on a couch and left to dry. That's what Milk Paper tastes like. And its bright green - the only food in recent memory that I have reflexively spit out.
(For the record, I am pro-lactation room, lest you think I am a traitor to my gender)

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