Digitata – Buddha’s Hand
Citrus medica L.
October – May
The Buddha’s Hand Citron is characterized by the unique shape of its fruit, formed by five or more segments that resemble the fingers of a hand. This name appears in a botanical book written during the Jin Dynasty in China (266-420). It is a variety cultivated for hundreds of years in Asia. Another of its characteristics is the total absence of pulp.
TREE AND FRUIT DESCRIPTION:
The tree is vigorous but slow-growing, with a rounded shape and a tendency to open branches. The young flowers are purple and aromatic, being a re-flowering variety. The leaves are large, aromatic, dark green in color and shiny. The fruits are formed only by a thin and smooth rind, extremely fragrant, with a strong but pleasant aroma. The albedo is edible, thick, white and pleasant to the mouth. It lacks pulp.
Given the strong aroma of its rind, the fruit has traditionally been used as a decorative element, mosquito repellent or air freshener for closets or rooms. Its albedo is consumed as a dessert, in savory dishes (salads, creams, purees…) or in combination with alcoholic beverages. It is candied in slices, which must first be covered with salt for a month to remove the bitter taste; after washing, they are steamed and candied. The resulting sweet is aromatic and tasty. In many parts of Asia, it is considered a sign of good fortune.