I’d Eat Them

The size of acorns. Tiny beets?

…If I knew how. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I took my Mandarin tutor to the market the very first session. She didn’t know how to explain them. Translation apps don’t have names. How do you cook them? What are they used for? We’ve had a few cooking classes & it’s always dumplings. OK, we get it. ‘Sew’ the top closed. Now let’s move on.

They're long...

One resembles a plucked cactus. The other, an oblong coconut. They’re stocked near ginger and garlic. Aromatics?

Radish relative?

In the little market, I identify (huge) radishes, rutabagas, Jerusalem artichokes, turnips, massive daikon. I know those. These are something else.

Giant necklaces...


You want to say potato/yam. But these are ATTACHED. In a chain. Like swollen bamboo, with some kind of dried blossom at the link points.

The paws of the Grinch

These have a woven tip, thatch–like a palm trunk. NO IDEA.

Lumpy little fists

Saving the cutest for last: tiny green hippo embryos. Maybe.

6 comments on “I’d Eat Them

  1. maxineswartz says:

    I’M NOT SURE i WOULD EAT ANY OF THESE VEGIES! MY CHINESE MARKET IN THE EAST VILLAGE HAS HELPERS THAT CAN TRANSLATE THE PACKAGES AND VEGIES FOR ME, LUCKILY. bUT THE LITTLE “RINO EMBRYOS ARE VERY CUTE. “like” THIS POST!!
    GRAMMA MAX

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  2. ira w. says:

    1) water chestnuts: if you peel them and eat them raw they are sweet
    2)shan yao, the literal translation is “mountain medicine”. You can eat it steamed, raw or stir fried. In beijing they make a dessert out of it. it looks like ice cream and they cover it with a sweet sauce. this is one of my favorites.
    3)This looks like a green radish. These are usually eaten raw.
    4)Lotus root. These are often stir fried, eaten sweetened in cold dishes, or many other ways depending on where in china you are.
    5)I am not sure but i think it is bamboo or winter bamboo.
    6)the last one I am not sure of

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    • Ira, on Geri’s advice, I’m lookign to you for possibly medical consult. Are you anywhere near Haidian? I am into the 2nd week of a cold, or maybe now sinus or chest infection, leaving me hoarse, coughing & feeling tired & headachey (tho no fever). Do you see patients here? I have a Western dr in Beijing but am wary of starting a course of antibiotics because I want to keep hold of all my natural defenses … I look forward to hearing from you if you would. Thanks…

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      • ira w. says:

        I am actually not currently in Beijing. I am in New York right now. I also do not know Chinese well enough to write you an herbal prescription in Chinese. I would try to find a Chinese Medical Practioner that speaks English. I am not exactly sure where but I will try online to find a place in Beijing that you can go to. I will also contact some of my friends that live in Beijing. If you have any Chinese neighbors they might know of someone.

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  3. OMG I love the internet, THANK YOU IRA!!! Whoever you are! Who are you? I am so incredibly excited. Lotus root! Of course! And I’m very excited to try stir frying the shan yao. We’re in Beijing.

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    • ira w. says:

      I am Geri Raichels nephew,

      be careful with the shan yao. do not eat the skin. you should wear gloves when you peel it. the peel will make your hands and mouth feel itchy.

      I have lived in Beijing twice. I lived with a local family so I am a little familiar with the city and culture. if you have any other questions dont be afraid to ask.

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