Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scrubbers

Loofah
We had a lovely walk again last evening just as the sun was starting to set and the temperature was a little lower. It has been another roasting day,as we walked we both remarked on how much everything has grown this year despite the lack of rain. Our walk took us along the old road towards the centre of Formentera and back along the side of the river. There are a lot of plot along the old road, some with houses some with out, lots of trees and plants on the plots make the walk interesting. We have noticed one or two owners have uprooted orange trees this year for some reason. We are hoping its not to start building there as this particular walk would loose a of its attraction then.
As i say lots of plant life and one plant we always find fascinating is the Loofa. Many people seem to think the loofa you get for the bath room is some sort of sea creature, not true so its a bit more environmentally friendly than a natural sponge. Indeed the loofa is sometimes know as the sponge cucumber.
The Loofa is in fact a fruit, probably native to tropical Asia or Africa. It comes from a plant called the Loofa cylindrical of the gourd family. Some species can be eaten though I have to admit I have never tried to cook them, watch this space! We did try to grow some one year using seeds we colleted form the campo. Lots of leaves but non of the lovley yellow flowers so no fruit.
To harvest for use as a body scrubber or as a pot scrubber in the kitchen you have to wait until the The fruit are picked when the skin turns a dark orange colour, the seeds are removed and you have ya loofa. The seeds are large and black and are easy to shake from the fruit.
I have found a recipe for the plant so i will let you know what they are like.
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Loofah-and-Chicken-Stir-Fry-106268

1 comment:

Jacqui said...

Fascinating info - I always thought a loofa was the skeleton of a sea cucumber!