by Chef Tanya Petrovna
Native Foods Cafe
What hand gesture would Buddha give? Hand gestures are many around the world and in different cultures. Actually, when traveling to a foreign land, it is important to know what hand gestures you may be encountering. For example the "a ok" sign in the U.S. where the thumb and forefinger come together to form a circle, means not such a nice thing in France and Latin America.
The Corona gesture, where the two middle fingers and thumb are curved toward the palm symbolizes "hang loose" in Hawaiian, at the University of Texas it symbolizes their school mascot, the longhorn. In the Meditteranean, it means your wife is cheating on you and in many cultures it is the symbol of the devil. Rock stars use it to mean positively cool and in Buddhism and Hinduism is is called the Karana Mudra, and is a symbol to ward off evil.
In yoga hand symbols are called mudras and you can direct flow of energy within the body by where and how you position your hands and fingers. This is especially beneficial to nourish internal organs. Just trying to position your fingers in some of them is a workout in itself, but great for finger mobility as we get older.
(photo credit: Chef Tanya of Native Foods Cafe with her trusty old camera...yes, Chef Tanya did grow this in her backyard...she plans to plant Buddha's Hands at Native Foods Cafe Palm Spirings!)
So what is this fruit that looks like a nuclear radiated lemon? It is actually called a Buddha's Hand. It is a citrus cultivar that originated a long time ago in Northwest India or China. It is used mostly in Asian countries for it's fragrance to light up a room or clothing. It is juiceless and seedless as you can see from the piece I cut.
(Two friends stopped by Native Foods Cafe Palm Springs the other night and couldn't believe the fragrance from a Buddha's Hand....now we're tinkering with vegan recipes for this beauty....coming soon to a Native Foods menu!!!)
It has the best zest qualities so when needing zest this is the piece de resistance! The peel is candied by a lenthy procedure of removing the pith and then soaking in salt brine for 40 days, removing the salt by soaking more, and then boiling in sugar to candy but the result is supposedly unbelieveable. I haven't tried it yet. I was just so impressed with the fruit I planted a tree and this is my just picked specimen! I took some of the tips and a finger and placed it with spliced vanilla bean in Russian vodka and I'll let you know how it turns out in four months! (ooops, maybe we'll be looking into a full blown liquor license for Native Foods Cafe if it's as good as I hope it will be!).
Oh and the symbol/mudra that formed on my fruit this year means Happy New Year!
Eat Peace, Chef Tanya at Native Foods Cafe