Botanical name: Michelia tonkinensis Origin: Vietnam
Harvest season: Autumn Moisture : 13.5% max Admixture : 1 % max Packing: PP bag (net :1-5kg) Port of loading: Hai Phong Port, Viet Nam
After being grown for seven years, the Michelia tonkinensis trees will be available to harvest. They flower in spring and get ripen around September and October every year. The Michelia tonkinensis fruit grows into clusters. Each cluster often includes 3 or 4 fruit, in each of fruit, there are 4 – 8 seeds. When ripe, the Michelia tonkinensis seeds turn reddish. People harvest and dry them, then the seeds turn black. Dried seeds can leave for 3 – 4 years without spoiling.
People harvest Michelia tonkinensis fruit by picking them around the roots or stretching the net and then using a stick to let them fall. The value of a Michelia tonkinensis tree can be equal to gold.
In the past, people in the mountain went to collect the seeds in the forest and then put them in bamboo tubes stored in the kitchen. When they wanted to use them, they took out a few seeds and grilled them on charcoal. The scented grilled seeds are thoroughly crushed with dry white salt, and stored in the bark of an old pumpkin to make Michelia tonkinensis salt. This salt is used to eat with chicken or pork, and as a spice for many unique cuisines. Not only that, the seeds can be soaked in alcohol to be used as a very good joint pain reliever.
The Muong people’s way of eating Michelia tonkinensis seeds also reflects their culture and customs very well. First, put a few pieces of red charcoal on fire and the seeds into a bowl, use chopsticks to stir until you can smell the fragrance. Crush the seeds into a powder and then mix with salt, put in fish sauce, or make spice for grilled meat, sour bamboo shoot soup, etc.
Anyone who has ever traveled to Da river will not forget the grilled fish with Michelia tonkinensis seeds. Fresh fish caught from the river is processed, salted, and then clamped with old and fresh bamboo sticks, and grilled on charcoal. Each hot fish skewer is eaten with white salt mixed with Michelia tonkinensis seeds, nothing is better. Pork with Michelia tonkinensis seeds grilled on charcoal is one of the dishes that attract visitors. The pork is sliced then mixed with Michelia tonkinensis seeds, and grilled on burning charcoal. The sweetness of pork mixed with the aroma of spices creates a special dish that no one can refuse.