Friday, March 26, 2010 at 6:22 a.m.
Sea buckthorn ain't so bad surrounded in sugar.
Photo by Riki Altman
Seems it's that time of year again when everybody is coming down with a bug of some sort, flu, cold, what-have-you, so testing out hard candies "mit Vitamin C" seemed a timely, welcome task. Well, at least it was easy to assume that the contents were going to be candy, since the name has some variant of fructose in it and the word bonbons were on the bag too.
The gal on our editorial staff whose German relatives sent these in a care package didn't clue us in as to what flavors to expect. The bag illustration displayed what appeared to
be a bunch of cherry tomatoes with sterling-silver tips and leaves that
didn't attach to the branch. Suspect. Hmmm, maybe those Germans have
created a variety of futuristic fruit/mineral that us Americans have yet
Even after popping one of the hard candies in my mouth and letting my tongue have at it for a while, the question remained: What flavor is this? Even a bite into the hard and sugary, chewy center left me mystified.
A cheat tactic had to be employed, and one peek at the bag sort of answered the query. It seemed the flavoring, in addition to a slight bit of orange juice, was sea buckthorn
. A little research shared the enlightening info that the stuff is native to Europe and Asia (and it has been grown only experimentally in Nevada, Arizona, and Canada), so my ignorance was forgivable. Ha!
With photo evidence, it's easy to see this fruit does indeed resemble the illustration (excepting, of course, the silvery nipples). And it turns out the stuff is also an excellent medicine for a variety of ailments, including colds and fever.
Who should eat these? Folks feeling the ick coming on. And damned near anyone with a sweet tooth.