THE CAMEMBERT OF NUTS
The fruit of the Maidenhair Tree (ginkgo biloba)
falls to the ground in early winter,
and is referred to as the "camembert of nuts"
by Asian cooks,
because of its "stinky cheese" soft outer shell.
Although totally edible, with its pungent sweet taste,
it is the inner seed that is prized
and widely used in Chinese cooking.
Easily squeezed from its soft outer shell,
"gingko nuts" are usually toasted, boiled or stir fried,
and are a familiar seasonal ingredient
in many Asian dishes.
In addition to their unique flavor,
these nuts are high in minerals and anti-oxidants,
and used as a treatment to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
A popular Chinese sweet dessert
is made from boiled coconut meat and gingko seeds.
(The beautiful gingko tree, with its distinctive
fan-shaped leaves, happens to be my favorite tree.)