In the heat of summer, a glass of cool and refreshing lemon green tea or winter melon and lemon juice is the best way to dispel the summer heat. However, farmers in Toushe Village in Nantou County’s Yuchih Township have given free rein to their ingenuity and they are now adding lemon, honey and milk to local fresh sponge gourd, which they mix into a lemon gourd milk with the light sweet fragrance of the sponge gourd. This is a different kind of cool summer drink that has opened people’s eyes.
Huang Shun-yu, chairman of the Association for the Promotion of the Sun Moon Lake Live Basin leisure farming zone, says that the world-class peat in Toushe Village is full of trace elements, and that since the area is located in a high-altitude basin, there is a great difference between day and night temperatures. Huang said this has turned Toushe into a unique sponge-gourd-producing region, and that the gourds produced there are even good when eaten raw. To find more ways of preparing sponge gourd, he studied popular hand-shaken drinks, thus turning sponge gourd into a good product for dispelling the summer heat during its summer harvest period, while at the same time promoting sponge gourd from Toushe.
Huang said that lemon sponge gourd milk uses half a gourd and fresh milk, honey, lemon and water, mixed in a blender, to taste. The drink is then topped off with ice cubes. Although it has a slight rawness to the flavor, the lemon and honey create a smooth milk drink with a unique taste that carries the faint, fresh sponge gourd fragrance.
Photos: Liu Pin-chuan, Liberty Times
Huang further said that, thanks to the unique environment, the raw flavor of Toushe sponge gourd is not very strong, and it can be eaten raw dipped in mustard, but is also very good chilled. Huang added that “this is absolutely the best cool product for dispelling the summer heat.”
(Liberty Times, translated by Perry Svensson)
Photos: Liu Pin-chuan, Liberty Times
1. give free rein v. phr.
發揮 (fa1 hui1)
例: You have to give free rein to people’s creativity to create something new.
2. open [people’s] eyes v. phr.
開眼界 (kai1 yan3 jie4)
例: Seeing that documentary really opened my eyes.
3. basin n.
盆地 (pen2 di4)
例: Taipei is located in a basin surrounded by mountains.
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