If you live in Phnom Penh, you will have noticed that it’s lotus seed season.  If you are fortunate enough to pass a lake with lotus flowers you will see hundreds of pink flowers waving in the breeze.   

You will also probably have seen many women walking the streets selling seed pods…that is, of course, unless you are me.  I keep seeing the seed pods in other people’s shopping bags but I haven’t seen one person actually selling them.  

I’ve discovered that lotus pods are relatively hard to find.  They are not really sold at the market, and, if they are, they are sold by people walking around the market rather than in a particular place.  They are also mostly sold in the morning, not in the afternoon when I do my shopping.  In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t find them, they find you.

It was for this reason that, when I spied this lady while I was going for a walk at lunch time today, I proceeded to chase her half way around the block.  

Isn’t she amazing, she kept this tray on her head the entire time, even while I was choosing my pods.
I picked up my little pod bouquet for the grand sum of 1,500 Reils (about 35 cents).  I think the pods are so pretty (although I think they kind of look like alien food!)

I don’t really know how to describe the taste of lotus seeds, except that they taste like a nut.  They are also very good for you, and popular in Chinese medicine, particularly for the spleen, kidneys and heart.  They are a good source of protein, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, and supposedly alleviate diarrhea.  But, best of all, they apparently have anti-aging properties! 

But the real reason I like them is because they’re fun to eat!

Once you’ve pulled the green seeds out of the pod, you need to peel the green membrane off to reveal the white seed.  The little green germinating seed inside is bitter, so I suggest pulling that out too, and then enjoying the crunchy white seed.
All this pulling and peeling is time consuming, which is why I like them.  They’re the perfect snack when you just want to nibble something or for while you’re watching TV or chatting with friends (not to mention that they are much better for you than crisps).

Given that fresh lotus seeds sold in the seed heads are sold in only a few countries and only around this time of year, if you’re fortunate enough to find someone selling them, give them a try.
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