The Tale of the Ginkgo Nut, or"Why I Sorted Through Rotting Fruitthat Smelled of Dog Feces on My Only Day Off"
Squished orange splotches along the road alerted me to the annual falling of the ginkgo fruit this year. It's a hoot to drive around Yokosuka and spot the occasional American stepping around the horrifically smelling fruit. Some check their shoe for dog poo; others curiously stare wondering if it's a weird Japanese kumquat or badly decomposed cherry. Me? Well, I had anticipated this, literally, all year long remembering how I missed out last year. Stick with me on this long post as I take you through the ginkgo nut harvest and the wonderful pay off in the end...
After the most grueling task of removing the flesh from the fruit, (forget double bagging-try eight!) I then rubbed the nuts together in my hands under running water. This only took a few minutes. I then spread the nuts out on a towel to let them dry and turn white. I followed some foodie blog's instructions by the way. At this point, they resemble pistachios.
Now the second most tedious part: shelling. It's not like I own a teeny tiny nutcracker for situations like this so I had to use my molars. (Thanks mom for stressing dental hygiene my entire youth,) If you bite too hard, you instantly break the gentle nut... They are now a nice off-white, bordering yellow color with think husks.
I've only had them two ways: in a stir fry made by a Japanese lady and on a stick grilled yakitory-style. I decided to toss them in a hot cast iron skillet with a few drops of olive oil and a dusting of salt. In about a minute, they change from an off-white to a light yellow and gradually become a beautiful jade green. As they become less opaque and start to look almost glassy, you know they're done.
And that's the story of the ginkgo nut. The next time you're in the pharmacy isle of your local supermarket or drugstore, you'll know why a ginkgo supplement costs so damn much.