Taiwanese traditional citrus for the Lunar New Year
Feb 13,2023 | Isle Provisions
Da-Shu’s( Uncle Da) Honey Murcott farm is nestled in a small town near 竹山 Zhushan. His specialty is the Honey Murcott (茂谷柑) which is a favourite citrus for the Lunar New Year. This is because of the fruit’s flattish oval shape which reminds one of the shape of the golden ingots placed on dining tables to welcome the God of Prosperity (財神爺) into one’s home. Perhaps another reason why this fruit is so popular during the Lunar New Year is its name. Literally translated, 茂谷 means lush valley. Who doesnt want their homes and bank accounts to be lush 😆?
The Honey Murcott is a cross between a tangerine and mandarin orange. I like it because of its robust citrus flavours, sweet super juicy pulps wrapped within a thin layer of skin. We had one that was freshly plucked off the trees. Hmm…..sweet, juicy and flavourful already with a few more weeks to the harvesting season. Should be a good season this year!
Da-shu shared an interesting lore about the fruit - every 2nd day the Lunar New Year, fruits would drop and break apart. The broken fermenting fruits would attract birds and animals who then devour the fruit and pass out the seeds wherever they roam. This is how Nature ensures progeny of the fruit.
Hear it from the man himself - here’s how to pick a fruit that’s just ripe for enjoyment.