Sunday, April 19, 2009
etegami and the 5 senses (taste)
I'm not sure what to call it. A vegetable? A fresh herb? An edible flower bud? This harbinger of spring is myoga (Zingiber mioga) which, according to Wikipedia, is "an herbaceous, deciduous, perennial native to Japan that is grown for its edible flower buds and flavorful shoots." The flower bud shown here is usually shredded finely and used as a garnish. It has a distinctive crunchy texture and a fragrant, fresh taste that cleans the palate. The bulb shape, the pretty color, the crunchy texture, and the singular taste of myoga is very familiar to the Japanese friends with whom I exchange etegami. The accompanying words are a quote from Job 34:3, "For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food."