Friday, March 13, 2015

Found out more info on our new trees

On my last post, I mentioned that we picked up a Sathorn Tree for the resort.  It seems like there was very little information about it and its not very widely known.  Turns out that its a native tree of the Loei region, just north of us in Chaiyaphum province.  Its only found here in Thailand and in that specific region, although it has been successfully planted in other parts of the country.   This tree has the scientific name of    Millettia utilis Dunn

According to the info that I found, this tree is harvested for its roots and leaves.  The roots are supposed to have medicinal properties and the leaves are fermented and made into a sauce that is unique to the area and is used in place of fish sauce.  In any case, its good to at least find out what kind of tree is growing in our front yard and a bit of its origin and use.  A great study of its local uses in detailed in this study by the Agriculture University of Norway.  Link to the study here.

The other interesting plant we picked up is called a Miracle Berry or Miracle fruit Tree (Synsepalum dulcificum).

Why such a weird name?  Its turns out that the fruit/berries from this tree have a strange property.  If you eat the flesh of this berry, and then taste something sour, like a lemon, it will taste sweet!  The effect can last up to 30 minutes so for that time period, many foods that are tasteless or sour will have a sweet taste to them.  It was such a find that at one time, it was considered an alternative to sugar and sweeteners.  But people believed that the FDA killed it along with other sweeteners like stevia under tremendous pressure from the sugar and corn syrup lobby.

Once our plants are full grown, we can all have a tasting party at one of the Friday night free buffets!

Our new plant had a few berries on them and we all gave it a try.  It does work.  But the word of warning is that it has unpredictable effects on other flavors as well.  Makes some things taste strange and for some, spicy food taste normal.  In B's case, it made spicy food taste even more spicy....brought tears to her eyes...555

Anyway, that's excitement up in the country.  Growing strange plants and trees.  A lot more fun than watching grass grow...

Time to go to the buffet in a bit.  Hopefully have a quiet and take that overdue trip to the beach early next week.

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