Finger Citron or "Buddha's Hand"
Will you look at this thing?!? The phrases “get a load of” and “have a shifty at” seem suddenly pale and inadequate to the task of carrying on about this multi-limbed citron I picked up at a local grocer recently. This is a finger citron or Buddha’s hand, Citrus Medica Digitata, or Citrus medica sarcodactylus, a close relative of Citrus medica ethrog, commonly known as esrik. They are permitted for ceremonial use on sikes (under certain circumstances).
I love having this thing around and just looking at it, but I am going to have to do something with the monster pretty soon. I will probably infuse a couple of bottles of vodka and then candy the rind. I wish I could candy the whole thing without cutting it up, but can’t handle that project right now. I will let you know what happens and I will bring along the vodka to the next person who invites me over.
Look at more pictures! Wow! Here’s an enthusiastic review of Buddha’s hand flavored vodka, which oddly enough assumes that the reader knows exactly what kind of fruit a Buddha’s hand is. You can buy sauce made with buddha’s hand at Local Harvest, and plant your own BH tree (or esrik tree). Have a shifty at these facsinating pages of unusual citrus (our guy is on page three, but see pages one and two as well).
This charming article by David Karp says our guy looks like a “cross between a giant squid and a lemon.” David Lebovitz found these lovely chocolate-dipped citrons last week. Harmonic esrik convergence or hashgokhe protis? I think this must be their peak season. Could it be that sikes is too early for really ripe citrons? This citron is far more lushly fragrant than any sikes-esrik I have ever encountered and I suspect they may have been underripe. Maybe we do need calendar reform.