Buddha’s Hand Citrus


The fingers reach up like the imploring hands of drowned sailors pinned down by seaweed, hands produced by mutant genomes that generate extra fingers. We instinctively recoil in horror from the Buddha’s Hand.

About now the citrus called Buddha’s Hand (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis), native to northeastern Indian, appears in area specialty markets, and this year you can find them at some Gourmet Garage stores and at Eataly. The most common use of these yellow-skinned fruits — which are nearly all skin and almost no flesh — is as a closet deodorizer, due to its strong fragrance. Secondarily, you can use them in candied form or as an abundant source of zest. Tertiarily, they just look cool in your kitchen — if you can afford the $10 price tag.