I pride myself on trying new/different fruit and veggies, and this week I tried a fingered citron, known more by it’s other name: “Buddha’s Hand”, for the first time. Perhaps you’ve seen this odd yellow fruit in your local grocery store, but what is it & most importantly, what do you do with it? The fingered citron is almost all rind and a substance called pith (the bitter white stuff that’s inside an orange peel for example), doesn’t have seeds, and has a very unique and strong smell that can be described as lemony, floral (some say lavender), and with slight vanilla notes.
The Buddha’s Hand is actually prized more for its decorative shape and super-lemony fragrance than its taste, but it is completely edible. I tried one of the fingers, and although it’s all pith inside, it has a mild lemon taste without the acid and bitterness present in other members of the lemon family. The finger was oddly dry and spongy in texture. You don’t expect fruit to not have fruit or juice inside! However, the real “flavor-pizzazz” of this citron comes from the yellow rind, and the Buddha’s Hand can be used in place of lemon zest in any lemon recipe. There are some recipes specifically tailored to using Buddha’s Hand: candied Buddha’s Hand, marmalade, waffles, and infused beverages. In particular I wanted to share with you all a link to a recipe to make Buddha’s Hand Waffles (click here).
So next time you’re in the produce isle, why not take a look to see if you might spot a Buddha’s Hand? Please let me know if you try one! Till next fruit/veggie exploration!
For more on the History of the Buddha’s Hand:
For more ideas on how to use a Buddha’s Hand: