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Now’s the time for Devil’s pods

初秋美饌 吃菱角正是時候

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Water caltrops look like devil’s horns. They look like bats on the wing. Their horn-like shape has earned them the nicknames “Devil’s pod” or “buffalo nuts,” and they are sometimes called “water chestnuts” due to their taste. They are now in season.

菱角外型近似魔鬼頭上的角,或飛翔的蝙蝠。因其外觀及味道,英文稱之為「魔鬼莢」、「水牛果」或「水栗」。而現在正是菱角的產季。

Most of the water caltrops in Taiwan are grown in Tainan’s Guantian District. This area has about 380 hectares of farmland in which to grow the crop, and you can see large water caltrop fields everywhere, with stalls selling just-boiled devil’s pods along the roads. Visitors to this year’s Guantian Water Caltrop Festival were surprised to learn that the buffalo nuts actually grow in water.

台南市官田區是全台最大的菱角產地,種植面積約三八○公頃,處處可見大片的菱田,路旁有許多熱騰騰的水煮菱角攤。官田菱角季日前登場,讓遊客大開眼界,驚呼「原來菱角長在水裡!」

The roots of the water caltrop plants extend down into the soil, and their stems break the surface of the water, with triangular leaves floating on the surface. They can be harvested from mid-September to November each year. Most of water caltrop farmers in Taiwan start growing the crop in May, after they have brought in the first rice harvest.

菱角的根生於土中,水中莖長達水面,三角形葉浮生於水面,每年九月中至十一月為盛產期。台灣大多數菱農是在一期作稻米收割完後的五月間才開始種植。

Water caltrops grow best in hot, humid climates with plenty of sunshine. As they bear fruit in temperatures of between 25 and 36 degrees Celsius, they thrive in southern Taiwan, and are grown predominantly in Tainan’s Guantian District and Kaohsiung’s Renwu District.The flesh of water caltrops is delicious and nutritious, its taste somewhat reminiscent of chestnuts. Devil’s pods can be eaten boiled or used in cooking, such as in buffalo nut and pork rib soup and three-cup chicken with water caltrops, to name but a few popular dishes.

菱角性喜高溫、多日照、多濕的氣候環境,結果實的適溫為攝氏二十五至三十六度,因此產區多在南台灣,目前以台南官田、高雄仁武為主要種植區域。

菱角富含營養、肉質鮮美,吃進嘴裡有宛若栗子的香味。除了水煮菱角外也可入菜,常見的料理方式有菱角排骨湯、三杯菱角雞等。

Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2017/10/18/2003680531

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