09 March 2010

The One Time its ok to Bite the Hand....Buddha's Hand.

I was doing some grocery shopping and perhaps because I'm reading Food, Inc. as my book of the week, I felt the need to be even more conscious of what I purchased. I decided I wanted to purchase fruit that was in season so I turned to google to find some answers.

The best website I came across was EPICURIOUS. com

I use Epicurious for many of my recipes at Cafe LaShay and therefore I trusted their site. What separated them from many of the other websites I came across was that they listed by month and by location what was in season. Sure, a mango may be in season...but in season halfway across the world. So I wanted to know what was good for this month and for New York. I didn't get many options but that's not the point.

For New York, it said that the growing season is currently dormant and that I should opt for items from storage such as apples, pears and root vegetable. (Side note, I'm currently looking for a CSA to participate in in Brooklyn and am excited!)

While searching for seasonal, local fruit I came across some things I had never heard of. Have you ever heard of Buddha's Hand?

I didn't read too much on it yet. I couldn't tell you where it comes from or if its even available in the US but I just loved the name. It's like saying "God's Hand." "Jehovah's Hand." "Allah's Hand" "The Divine's Hand" or something like that. Who wouldn't want to eat it. Its one of my goals to try a fruit I've never even heard of. Depending on the availability and location of this fruit, maybe I'll be biting into Buddha's Hand.

Do you consider the season and your location when shopping? Do you find the choices limiting? Have you ever heard of Buddha's hand and do you know more about it.


Hannah said...

Over the past couple of years I've tried to be a lot more intentional about buying things that are in season and more locally grown. Does all of our food meet those qualifications? No, but we try to do it as much as we can! My mom's really good at doing this, so I often call her when I have questions. Though now, I'm going to have to check out Epicurious' site.

Last year our community garden (about 4 blocks from our house) actually did a CSA, and we LOVED it. The variety & quantity wasn't as big as we would've gotten with a more "typical" CSA, but I loved that I was getting food grown in inner-city Philly, that I could walk to go pick up each week. Also, that it was lovingly grown by people I know! They're doing it again this year, with a little more variety and a little more direction (last year was a bit of trial and error) and Josh and I signed up the second we heard it was a go!

We also used our small patch of backyard to grow things last year, and can't wait to do it again this year! Even though our actual garden plot is quite small, we have lots of concrete for putting pots on top of :) Similar to the CSA, we know what we're doing a little bit more now, so we're looking to include more variety (especially what we won't get from the CSA), and larger and smaller amounts of various things (for instance, we had WAY too many hot peppers and not nearly enough bell peppers last year!). I'm actually really looking forward to it, and since we own our house now, I'm excited to research what we can bring inside in the fall! I've been missing my fresh herbs this winter!

misslycia said...

Thanks for passing along the Epicurious site! My husband and I have a garden, so we have access to produce during the warmer months. During the winter though, it is more of a challenge. Our Whole Foods has fruit and vegetables posted by season, but of course, that list is not unique to our region. This map will help a lot.

Please update us with your experience with Buddha's Hand. I'm very curious...

SLY said...

Hannah, you are amazing! I want to interview you for Granola Tendencies...considering the how much you cook, things you grow, the renovations you just did on your house, how you grew up...I think you'd have some amazing things to say. What do you say? Also, I miss you.

Miss Lycia, welcome! Even though its hard to grow things in the winter, I was grateful that my basil plant lasted all year inside my apartment. It was encouraging to see how long it lasted and felt good to eat something I had grown. What are some of the things planted in your garden? I have mixed feelings about Wholefoods but currently its located across the street from me, so its where I shop. Can't wait for the CSA's to begin.

misslycia said...

How cool to have herbs grown in your apartment! Congrats! :-)

Last year we grew: eggplant, squash, tomatoes, spinach, jicama, zucchini, cucumbers, and corn to name a few. We have fruit trees planted now.

My husband and I feel the same way about Whole Foods. It is the only "natural" foods store left in the city, but their inventory (and business practices) are questionable. I live in the South, so their hot bar consists of fried catfish and bbq pork. Thank goodness for farmers' markets! :-)

SLY said...

Fried Catfisk and BBQ pork at Wholefoods on the southside makes me sad.

Eco Mama said...

I get local organic delivery and I LOVE it. That Buddha's hand is very intriguing and I'd be excited to try it.
Eco Mama