Want some ginkgo… ahem… semen drink?
If you think the iron eggs from Taiwan is weird, then have a look at this. The Sweet Garden Ginkgo Semen Almond Grain Powder Drink. Yes, you read it right, you’ll be enjoying a cup of (ginkgo) semen drink.
So what is ginkgo semen?
To find out, we will have to do the un-doable by drinking it. The sacrifices I make for my readers. I put a few spoons of the powder in a cup, poured hot water, stirred. I closed my eyes (and nose) and drunk the ginkgo… ahem… semen almond drink.
I opened my eyes. I was floating high in the sky. Wow, the view is beautiful from here. I looked down and find myself on top of a tree.
Wait a minute…
That’s not right. I am the tree! I am a male Ginkgo Biloba tree. Ginkgo trees are special because the male and female reproductive organs are on different trees. Most other plants have both the male and female reproductive organs on the same plant. The male ginkgo trees only releases pollen and female will only produce seeds.
My friend, Mr. Gink, who is planted next to me shouted, “Mate. It’s the time of the season. Release your pollen”. And so I did. I released thousands of little pollen into the wind.
The pollen floated in the air. A few lucky ones would reach the female trees nearby. Maybe some of mine would reach beautiful Ms. Ginki! And the strongest ones will then fertilise the seeds.
Some time later, the fertilised seeds will grow into small fruits. When ripe, they will drop and have this really terrible smell. When rotten enough, the fruits would become soft and easy to peel. Humans would then pick out the white seeds in the fruits. The shells of the white seeds are removed to reveal a small yellow ‘fruit’ inside. The middle part of this yellow ‘fruit’ is poisonous and have to be removed. Once removed, this yellow ‘fruit’ that is eaten or made into powder.
Ginkgo semen refers to the the yellow ‘fruit’. In Chinese, it is known as bai guo 白果 or white fruit. This yellow ‘fruit’ and it’s white shell is technically not a fruit because it’s the seed of a fruit. Why in the world they refer to it as the semen, I haven’t got a clue!
I looked back at the sky. The yellow leaves of all the ginkgo trees look amazing. Mr. Gink said to me, “We come from an amazing lineage. Our ancestors lived with the dinosaurs.”
“Unfortunately, all our cousins are extinct. We are the only surviving species in our family.”
“But we have survived. And we will continue to survive.”, I replied with a tone of confidence.
I opened my eyes.
Oh, no! The interesting ginkgo tree has made me forgotten to tell you about the drink itself! The drink tasted mostly of almond with a slight hint of ginkgo. It’s a little bit sweet, not sure if it’s from added sugar or the almond itself. It was okay. There are better brands of ginkgo and almond drinks that I have tasted in Taiwan that are much nicer.
I received this as a gift from a relative. It was bought from Taipei, Taiwan.