As days are still warm but nights are cold??,
leaves are starting to change color??,
green turns into yellow??,
nuts drop from trees ??!
But then, a foul smell fills the air ??… What kind of nut am I talking about?
The seeds from the gingko tree ?!
You might know the look? of their characteristic fan-shaped leaves.
Perhaps you are also familiar with the smell? of their fruit?
It reminds me of vomit ?. Others say it smells like sh**. ? (I know ONE single person who actually perceives the smell as pleasant!) The smell can also be described as that of butyric acid.
But did you ever taste? gingko?
Inside each fleshy yellow fruit is a nut. If you crack the shell open, you will find a seed that is EDIBLE! (I wonder who was brave and hungry enough to examine these smelly fruit!?) In Korea, gingko seeds (“eunhaeng [sshi] 은행[씨]) are actually quite a pricey delicacy, ascribed with health benefits and treasured for their nutritional value??. Hence, they are sparingly used in cooking. You can find them e.g. as garnish in noble dishes – just 1 or max. 3 seeds at once!? Also, in some families, gingko seeds are put on the offering table during ancestral rites and traditional Korean holidays such as Lunar New Year (Seollal 설날) and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Chuseok 추석).
.❗The seeds are not consumed raw. In Korean cuisine, they are most frequently pan-fried in a little bit of oil, or steamed along with other ingredients. ❗ Also, eating large amounts of these seeds is not advised.
So what do they taste like, after all? ❔ Quite… “different”! They have a subtle, but distinct smell – by no means similar to the foul odour of the fruit! The taste is slightly bitter, but also a bit “nutty”. The milky yellowish seeds become translucent and turn green-yellow, when heated. Then their texture is also rather soft – not crunchy like nuts.
If you want to know more about ginkgo in Korea, check out www.sesame-sprinkles.com ? link on profile! ?