Tropical Agriculture

Seasons: therefore I yam

Photo: Shutterstock


There's no getting around the fact that mountain yam is slimy - mucilaginous is another (unappetising) term. Although many would look on its sliminess as a drawback, gourmets appreciate it precisely for that texture.

Saturday, 29 September, 2012, 11:49pm

A community blighted by pollution

In a ward at the People's No 2 Hospital in Shifang , 37-year-old peasant Yin Yanjun told a student 21 years his junior: 'I'm sure you guys have never experienced a real blue sky in Shifang .'

14 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Unlock the secret of the avocado

Avocados, sometimes known as an alligator pears because of their shape and texture of the skin, are a good source of fibre, vitamins K, C, B4, B6, folate and potassium.

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Lifting ban on GM papaya 'a mistake'

Hong Kong is throwing away its chance to enter the growing mainland market for organic produce by allowing farmers to grow genetically modified papaya from today, local farmers warn.

23 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Kings and queens of the oasis

Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates

226 grams for HK$42.90, Gourmet

Known as the 'king' or 'diamond' of dates, medjool dates are prized for their large size, natural sweetness and chewy texture. These come from California's Bard Valley, the microclimate of which is said to produce superior dates.

5 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Canned Corn

S&W Whole Kernel Corn 410g for HK$8.90, Market Place by Jasons

10 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Rainfall, not warming, key to crops

Rainfall has had a bigger impact than rising temperatures on the mainland's grain harvests in the past three decades, according to research by two Chinese scientists.

6 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Ridge pickings

Sze gwa goes by various names, such as angled loofah, ridged gourd and Chinese okra (it does resemble a large version of Western okra, aka lady fingers, although they're not related). It doesn't look the most enticing of vegetables - it's long, tapered (and sometimes curved) and the skin is (or should be) dull with a slightly rough texture.

11 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Lemon grass infusion

Sometimes you wonder why restaurateurs don't put as much energy into developing the food and drinks on the menu as they put into developing the menu as a sales tool. Do they think good food won't sell itself?

16 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Core values

Whoever discovered that the mighty palm tree has a soft and tender heart must have been desperately hungry. It's ironic, then, that heart of palm is now considered an expensive, luxurious ingredient. The vegetable is actually the core of certain types of palm tree, and the harvesting of the 'heart' kills the plant.

12 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

A rice harvest dripping with bloody potential

An old dream of biotechnologists is to produce human proteins not by microbes or animals, but in an 'unbloody' way: by genetically manipulated or transgenic plants. Such plants can be grown and harvested, and the blood proteins extracted are 100 per cent safe. No virus contamination can harm us.

13 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Beijing pressed to open up on grain stockpiles

The last month has been the busiest time of year for Li Yingwen and his fellow grain farmers.

The tasks include testing combine harvesters, looking for labourers, supervising the reaping and spreading out the grain in the sun. Soon, Li will find himself dealing with rice traders from across the country.

6 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Rice price set to rise as Thailand floods hit exports

The price of rice is due to rise as flooding in Thailand - Hong Kong's biggest supplier - cuts into exports.

The flood could destroy six to seven million tonnes of paddy rice, the Thai government projected.

Sellers predict exports will tumble from a million tonnes to 550,000 tonnes this month, while prices could increase 20 per cent by the end of this year.

28 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Frustrated mother 'creates' fruit with a thousand eyes

Maria walked slowly along the hot dusty track, her head bowed low under her old straw hat. She had worked a double shift of 14 hours in the fruit plantation, and now was almost dropping with exhaustion.

19 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Special delivery

En papillote is a French method of cooking food in an envelope made of parchment paper. Trapped in the parcel, the ingredients steam but flavours remain bright and concentrated. When other cooking techniques are used, tastes can be muted.

Fish en papillote with lemon-kalamata olive butter and tomato-basil concasse (pictured)

21 Aug 2011 - 12:00am