Sunday, November 1, 2015
Wasong (Fimbriate Orostachys)
I discovered Wasong (Fimbriate Orostachys) at the farmer's market today. The sign had the name written in Korean, so I asked my (Korean) mother if she knew what to do with it. Surprisingly, she hadn't heard of this edible plant. And, there isn't a whole lot of information about it online. All I know is that it's a succulent that grows in Asia and it's medicinal. It supposedly has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it boosts the immune system, prevents aging of the skin, controls hemorrhages, and is used to treat tumors. The Koreans, of course, prepare it as a kimchi or drink it as a tea.
The taste is bitter and sour. It also leaves a lingering sensation in your mouth—similar to the feeling you have on your tongue and teeth after eating raw spinach. (Some people describe that as chalky.) I prefer the pointy "leaves" at the bottom, which are tart, bitter and sour. They're also juicier. I tend to like bitter vegetables and even more so if they're good for you. But, I can see a lot of people being turned off by this exotic edible.
If anyone has first-hand experience with Wasong, please let me know!