Location: Los Angeles, California, U.S. Outlying Islands

I am a graduate student in American Literature...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Gingko Nuts

I was reading an interesting entry about walnuts on the Accidental Hedonist, and thought I would post an entry on gingko nuts, which I tried for the first time recently. (By the way, I adore nuts. I know this must be partly due to the fact that they provide an easy source of protein (unlike many other protein-sources for vegetarians), but lately I have had to cut back, as the protein comes with its share of fat. I increased my nut intake a while back when I went on the South Beach Diet. On any particular afternoon, I could be found chomping on my daily allotment of 30 pistachio nuts or handful of almonds. But the diet became too time-consuming to keep up with, and I abandoned it, but not the nuts. How could I abandon a food whose praises have been sung so voluminously? So after I went off the diet, one could still find bags of nuts--pistachios, almonds, cashews, and pine nuts--neatly lined up on my kitchen counter and I could be found throwing them on salads, into my morning yogurt, including them in a stir-fry, or just eating them plain. So one day I decided to "lighten up" on my use of the nuts...

But back to gingko. Everyone knows that gingko increases blood supply to the brain, and I've taken the substance as a pill and as a tea. But I was at a Japanese restaurant the other night, and discovered that gingko nuts were on the menu. They arrived at our table too hot to eat--they were still in the shell, because they had been freshly roasted. We were instructed to peel them, dip them in salt, and eat. The texture of the nuts was very odd--something like a lychee nut, and clear just like a lychee. They were delicious, and I recommend them. My food dictionary tells me that the nut comes from the center of the inedible fruit of the maidenhair tree (from China).

The restaurant, called Ryo Sushi, is at the corner of Highland and Hollywood, in a little strip mall. I found out about it from Chowhound, my favorite food website of all. You can do city-specific searches for any type of restaurant or food that you want, with opinions and debates from people who are really interested in food and don't have any commercial motives.


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5:50 AM  

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