Mani Skaria, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO, US Citrus, LLC
Professor & Citrus Scientist (Retired), Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Buddha’s hand is a type of citrus, a citron. Fruit are rare in regular stores but available via specialty stores or the internet. Fruit size as in figure left is 3-inch wide and 7-inch long. Fruit price varies from $5 to $24 a pound. It is a menu item in fancy restaurants It can be used in salads, can be candied. Make a new year gift, especially among the Chinese.
Botanical name of citron is Citrus medica. It is Cédrat (French) Cidra (Spanish), Cedro or Cedrone (Italian), Bushukan (Japanese), Chen Yuan (Chinease).
Uses include: as a zest for flavoring, for candy, an edible gift, room fragrance, menu, table decoration.
The fruit is split longitudinally, resulting in irregular, finger-like, distinctive appearance. The name come from its odd shape that resembles the hand of praying Buddha. It has a curious and is considered the strangest looking citrus fruit in the world. Unlike other citrus, fingered citron has no juice or pulp, but lot of rind and skin. It smells so good that if placed on your dinner table, it sure will grab your guests’ attention. Be ready to answer all questions about this strange looking fruit, but all will enjoy the lovely, sweet, gentle, soothing, lemony fragrance. Just like lavender, Buddha’s hand can be used to repel insects, and to mitigate foul smell.