Buddha’s Hand Citron. Buddha’s Hand is a delicious fragrant symbol of happiness, longevity, and good fortune.
This traditional temple offering and New Year’s gift is actually a form of the citron, an extremely fragrant and commonly misshapen fruit indigenous to the lower Himalayas. Closely related to the lemon, the Buddha’s Hand segments branch off at the bottom into gnarled, finger-like protrusions. Known as "fo-shou" in China and "bushukan" in Japan, the impressive Buddha’s Hand has a mysterious history.
Scholars cannot agree whether Buddhist monks carried it from India to China around the fourth century A.D. or if it developed naturally in the Yangtze Valley from another citron variety. Either way, America now can enjoy this tangy spectacle.
Enjoy Buddha’s Hand as a seasonal ornamental fruit or in any recipe that calls for lemon zest such as biscotti, fruit compotes, casseroles, and soufflés.