Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Mulberries - Not Just Food For Silkworms?

Do you like mulberries?

I find them rather fascinating fruits because they're a cross between raspberries (in look) yet with the tartness of lemons.

My friend, Don, once offered me a tiny mulberry that he plucked off his mulberry plant. As we live in Malaysia where the weather is hot, the mulberry was prized indeed. It was barely red enough.

It tasted tart. But I like tart fruits so that was all right. 

When I was in Hong Kong last year, I managed to buy some fresh ones and they were much larger than the tiny one grown by Don. For about HK$15, I bought a box (see below) at the local Hong Kong evening market. Looks like a lot of fruits right? 

Mulberry fruits or mulberry berries? Bought these from a market in Hong Kong. Don't be fooled
by the overflowing basket. The berries are propped up by lots of foam!

Sneaky HK fruit sellers prop their baskets with foam so that you just get a handful but it seems like a lot! I think that is really cheating. I'd prefer if they put them in a plastic bag and you can see how much you are getting.

These mulberries are probably grown in China. They were sweetish but still had a tartness about them. I polished off this entire basket (not very big basket mind you) after dinner while eating blue cheese and drinking sake in my friend's apartment in Tseung Kwan O. The thing is, the tartness of these berries complimented the blue cheese! Strange bed fellows indeed.

Back in Malaysia, a lot of people have been planting mulberry trees as it is supposed to be super easy to grow. Just cut off a branch of mulberry and poke this into the ground and in no time, it will grow.

That's what I did.

But it didn't grow as easily as I thought!

Mulberry is also called Sang Shen and it is actually very good for health - healing a variety of ills from anemia to premature hair greying.

It is also a fruit that affects the Lung and Liver meridians.

As it is cooling, it clears Liver fire and is a remedy for coughs, colds and fevers. As you can use it for your Liver, it assists in giving you better vision and hearing. It is also useful in cases of constipation (used together with other herbs as seen here). All the more reason to eat mulberries by the handful.

Fresh mulberry leaves can be steeped in hot water and sipped as a tea (here's how you make the mulberry leaf tea).

To discover more about this wonderful fruit/leaf/herb, take a look at this site which details everything about mulberry. 

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