Hunt for the Stink-O Nut

by in View All Posts, November 10th, 2008

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Last weekend, my mom and I walked through Ft. Greene Park in Brooklyn in search of “bai guo.” Translated from Chinese, “white fruit” or gingko nut is a product of the gingko tree.  Surrounded by an orangey flesh that smells horrendous (I liken it to a mix between vomit and dog crap), the nuts are predominately valued by Asians for their medicinal value. You also may have heard of it through the nutritional supplement gingko biloba extract, which is purported to help with memory and concentration.

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The gingko nut is surrounded by an incredibly smelly orange flesh.

I’d only had gingko nuts a few times in a Chinese dessert soup and in a vegetarian dish with hair-like seaweed.  I thought the flavor was kind of bland and unremarkable.  But still, hunting for the nuts seemed like a fun thing to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  After a few minutes of stooping under the trees, my mom said she would come back in a couple of days with gloves and plastic bags to retrieve the fruit since they were too smelly to handle. A few days later she came back with a box full of the nuts. Though they’ve been washed and scrubbed of their flesh, I get a faint whiff of them every now and then, as they are sitting on the window sill drying. I’m not quite sure what she’s going to do with them, but I can’t wait to find out!

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After the flesh is peeled and rinsed away, the nuts resemble pistachios.

Shirley Fan, RD, Nutritionist

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Comments (1)

  1. Eddie Chang says:

    thankyou for pointing out what that stuff was. I see it around the city every fall and I try not to step on em. They are so nasty. Now I have a snapple fact on them thanks!

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