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Water Caltrop

Pat Hammond Sep 17, 2004 11:13 AM

I saw this very unusual thing at my Asian market. I first thought it was some kind of jewelry, but it's actually a water chestnut. It looks for all the world like a bull's head with horns. The outer shell is very hard, and plastic feeling. The clerk said they're very good eaten roasted as a snack.

I apologize in advance for the website link, but it has a really good picture of these things, if you sroll down a ways. Just ignore the attempts at humor!

Link: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ploct95...

  1. b
    Besteatery Aug 28, 2011 11:24 AM

    I have looked everywhere to find these online to buy. Anyone know where I can order 40 - 50 of these? Thanks

    4 Replies
    1. re: Besteatery
      tastesgoodwhatisit Aug 28, 2011 06:51 PM

      They're pretty seasonal. I live in an area where they are grown, and they're not quite in season yet, but should be showing up in a month or so.

      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
        Besteatery Aug 28, 2011 09:04 PM

        Great thank you.

        Any chance when they do show up, you can recommend somewhere I can place an order? Or could I possibly order through you?

      2. re: Besteatery
        Asbestos Sep 13, 2011 02:10 PM

        I just bought some at a market in West Palm Beach Fl. I have not tried them yet. They were $2.99lb. for 40 of them. The place is called Foodtown-- 561-242-1100. You could give them a call and see if they would ship them to you!!

        1. re: Asbestos
          Besteatery Sep 13, 2011 08:04 PM

          Excellent. Thank you Asbestos. Just what I needed.

      3. p
        PorforioKonkKonkKaChonk Oct 9, 2006 11:39 PM

        ... oh, yeah ... sorry

        SWc market on E.B'way/Pike
        Left and diagonally across from the live mud skippers and mantis shrimp ...
        one week ago.

        1. p
          PorforioKonkKonkKaChonk Oct 9, 2006 11:35 PM

          I first saw these last fall on the SWc of Mott/Canal ...
          (you know, the corner of this summer's fabled (at least to me) mangosteen siteings).
          Looking like teeny, black desiccated/cryo-vaced bats ("sous vide"??, I'm filing as you read),
          I was intrigued and inquired ...
          ... "STUPID F*CK, GO WAY" ...
          encumbered by sobriety, no snappy rejoinder, I left, curiosity piqued.

          Bladholm sez "two horned water caltrop".

          My sources say ...
          "central/southern China"
          "water plant"
          "tastes like water chestnut"
          "we don't boil"
          "eat two/three"
          "eat when weather get cold"
          "good for lungs"

          ask for "lingjao" (ling j-ow)

          1. j
            Josh Karpf Oct 11, 2004 11:03 PM

            I bought a bag of water caltrops on Saturday, and am eating them tonight.

            I'm a good Web detective but can find no instructions, beyond the need to cook them to eliminate toxins. So what I've done is dump a clattering three dozen of the black, hard-shelled, horned fruit into a pot of boiling water for five minutes, fished them out with a strainer, let them cool, smashed them open with the flat of my cleaver, and dug into them with a simple pointed steel carrot peeler. I tried using an oyster fork and a quarter-teaspoon measuring spoon, too, but they failed.

            The meat is like coconut flesh, and like coconut meat, the caltrop's has a thin, dark parchmentlike layer between it and the caltrop shell. But the caltrop flesh is more dry than coconut, and lacks coconut's oiliness. Caltrop meat has a pleasantly clean, grainy mouthfeel that's just a little bit sweet and has a finish vaguely like that of a fresh oyster, even though there's nothing shellfish-like about the caltrop.

            I hope five minutes was enough time to ward off the toxins, because I've smashed and dug and eaten my way through a lot of of these, and that's only a third of my bagful. If I don't post tomorrow, well, thanks for Chowhound, Jim, it's been a privilege to write my last words right here.

            1. h
              Heidi Claire Sep 18, 2004 08:37 AM

              Those are amazingly beautiful! I've never seen this before - thanks - it's early in the a.m. and I've already learned something new.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Heidi Claire
                Pat Hammond Sep 18, 2004 11:23 AM

                I went to the same market yesterday to look for them and actually buy some this time, and the clerk said he'd never heard of such a thing! We clearly had a communication problem, but I was being to wonder if I'd only conjured these lovely peculiars.

                Next time I'll buy some, for sure!

              2. r
                Ruth Lafler Sep 17, 2004 11:11 PM

                Those are the coolest things. I bought a couple once and carried one around in my coat pocket -- great conversation piece!

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