Water what?

My Chinese teacher and I were having an in-depth discussion about Taiwan fruit. By “in-depth” I mean I can say things like, “Taiwan fruit is sweet. I like Taiwan fruit.  Sometimes it is cheap but sometimes it is expensive.”  They are very proud of their fruit here and I haven’t really gotten anything that blows my mind (except this dragon fruit).  So, she gave me a fruit that blew my mind.

       outside shell-crop

It’s called:

                       Characters:

                                                          lingjiao

                       Pīn​yīn:

                                                              Língjiǎo  (pronunciation)

 

inside weird fruit-crop

 

It’s a water caltrop.  Whatever that is.  It’s affectionately called a Jesuit nut, Ram Horn Nut, or a horned water chestnut.

Some people buy them raw and cook them at home.  This one is pre-cooked and opened by the shopkeeper. It tastes like a water chestnut but nuttier and less crunchy so there isn’t a ton of flavor.   I’ve heard that some people use them to make soup, which I imagine that tastes a lot like hot water.

It’s clear that, like lobster, a very brave person or a very hungry person first decided to eat one of these things.

Regardless of taste the water caltrop certainly makes a great mustache.

tex mustache

 

 

You can learn more about this fruit on this helpful blog.