It’s citrus season in Sacramento, and we have access to a stunning array of freshly-picked fruit to savor. But while most of us are aware of the juicy mandarins, oranges, Meyer lemons and grapefruit for which our region is so well-known, there’s a curious, exotic citrus that is also available: The Buddha’s Hand. Dizzyingly fragrant, this unusual citron fruit is quite different from its family members. The bright yellow fruit is segmented into finger-like sections, and, interestingly, it offers a thick peel and only a small amount of white flesh. The white flesh is not juicy and contains no seeds.
While you can’t peel and devour a Buddha’s Hand like you might a sweet clementine or blood orange, you can use the fruit to make delicious citrus peel or to create lemony-flavored syrups for cocktails, homemade infused vodka or limoncello. You can also incorporate its zest into baked goods, soups, or on top of salads and pizzas. Or if you simply like the way it looks, use it as a fragrant, beautiful table centerpiece—it’s sure to inspire some conversation amongst family and friends.