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Loofah belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, an annual vine herb, also known as "vegetable melon." It is a common vegetable in Taiwan with the main growing areas in central and southern Taiwan, from Nantou County to Pingtung County, with growing periods differing a lot as a result of different local climate. In the Gaoping area the loofah can be grown all year-round because of the warm climate.

Li Shizhen's "Herbal Foundation Compendium" described this vegetable as "having a network of flesh," which is to say the old loofah is full of silk and meridians, hence it is also known as the "Silk Melon." The loofah is not only edible, its male flowers can also be tasted carefully after being picked and washed, MOAted with flour and fried; "loofah dew" has a cooling and annealing function, which can maintain the elasticity of the skin and is the best natural cosmetic; Many new technology products continue to use the term "loofah cloth," which indicates its washing effect is well known. In addition, Penghu loofah is often used locally to describe a person who likes to nag a lot, because it has 10 edges, and rhymes with "Nag" in Hoklo.

How to buy loofah

  1. Choose a cylindrical shape that is uniform from top to bottom, which is not bigger in the middle or at both ends.
  2. The surface of the skin should be fresh green. If the color is dark, it means it was harvested a long time ago.
  3. Even dark green varieties have a glossy skin if they are of good quality.
  4. Surface protrusions need to remain intact and undamaged.
  5. The epidermis had no dark scratches or crushing marks.
  6. The fruit is intact without cracks.
Reference: Explore the Real Taiwan of the Ministry of Culture, Loofah Theme Pavilion, Ministry of Agriculture
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