Lotus Seedpods and Leaves of the West Lake are up for Sale

2018-07-18
This summer, around 24 acres of lotuses will bloom throughout the lake, filling the whole scenic area with the most delicate of fragrances. During summer mornings, the Water Management Office of West Lake has delegated its staff, who are responsible for the maintenance of water, to collect lotus seedpods and leaves from the lake.


Why pick a budding lotus? In fact, taking away lotus seedpods and their leaves is highly beneficial. It is because the top leaves could block sunlight from the lower-layered ones which, in turn, has a negative affect on the growth of any new buds. Since July 9, the first selection of lotus seedpods and leaves has been put up for sale. The lotus of West Lake, which belongs to Flower Lotus cultivar, mainly nurtured for ornamental purposes, usually grows many flowers but very few leaves and seedpods. Therefore, the small number that are available means that these lotus products are extremely rare. Every day from 8 am, the seedpods and leaves are available to purchase until they are sold out. The seedpods are priced based on the size— 10 yuan for four big-sized seedpods and leaves and the same price for six smaller-sized;  three lotus leaves will cost 2 yuan. This year, the sale is mainly set at the lotus scenic area by the Broken Bridge and will continue until the end of August.


Fresh lotus seeds taste sweet, yet bitter to taste when you get to the center. Lotus seeds are rich in protein, fat, carbohydrate and many other beneficial minerals. It is good for detoxifying blood, relieving pressure and for relaxing. However, pregnant women should not consume too many because lotus seeds are cool-natured (“han’liang” in traditional Chinese medicine), which could harm the forming of the embryo.  Lotus seeds can be eaten raw, moreover, this delicacy can produce delicious Chinese desserts.


Because of the West Lake’s popularity, many merchants claim that they sell the most authentic lotus products from the West Lake. However, not all of them are telling the truth. As a consumer, how can we find out whether the seedpods sold are from the real lotus of the West Lake?
The first thing to look at is the size, the most authentic lotus seedpods from the West Lake are only as large as a fist. The second thing is to find out whether the seeds in the seedpods are plump. Even though the lotus seedpods from the West Lake are small, they are filled with plump seeds. Since the lotus seedpods are harvested every day, the taste is usually more fresh and sweet. You can always smell the refreshing fragrance of lotus flowers when eating the seeds. It is important to note that because of the limited number of seedpods that are available from the West Lake, generally they are not transferred to other merchants. This means that you can only find the most authentic lotus seedpods and leaves by the shores of the lake.