Supplies of the unique specialty citrus item Buddha’s hand are coming to the end of the season in California. “The season usually starts in September with citrus crops but it also depends on the weather and how hot it’s been and how much rain you’ve received,” says Tony Marquez from Pearson Ranch, noting the season generally goes from September to February. “With all the rain that we’ve had in California, with the fruit that’s left out there, the season is just about done.”
The yellow citrus item is a distinctive item grown by a small number of growers producing relatively consistent volumes of the fruit annually, though given it’s part of the citrus family, it’s also an alternate-bearing fruit. The fruit itself is mostly made up of peel and pith and is used largely for infusing alcohol or in a variety of food products.
As for demand for Buddha’s hand, it’s also fairly steady year to year says Pearson, who notes that Pearson Ranch works with local growers to market their Buddha’s hands. “Though whenever they are featured on a food show like Chopped, people will start looking for it,” he says. “At this time of year, they are also used in some Lunar New Year celebrations as well.”
Right: Tony Pearson says Buddha's Hand is also used in some Lunar New Year celebrations.
Pricing for Buddha’s hand has also been average this season. “Because there’s not a huge demand every year, pricing usually doesn’t fluctuate much unless there’s a shortage of availability. It’s a fairly steady item,” adds Marquez.