大「橘」大利

:::

1989 / 2月

文‧蔡文婷 圖‧陳品君


我是一種水果,「本草綱目」作者李時珍說我美得像「矞雲」——矞雲外赤內黃,非煙非霧,有郁郁紛紛之象。

我的外形正如矞雲外紅內黃,剝開時香霧迷濛,這也是我名字的來源。


如果您還猜不出我是誰,那可真該好好地看我一眼了。

我們的族史可從四千年前說起,當時先祖已在中國華南一帶生根繁衍,到了周朝更擴張地盤,像尚書、史記、楚辭中都有我們的小名。宋朝時,韓彥直還精心為我們著作專輯「橘錄」,詳記柑橘家族的特性、種類、栽培、貯藏等。

家在台灣

在清康熙年間,我們來到美麗的寶島——台灣。一來便不走了,因為這堛漁藄唌B土壤都滿適合我們的,所以我們不僅長得細皮嫩肉、內外兼美,在「增產報國」之下,很快便成為台灣第一水果大家族。

根據農林廳七十七年所作「台灣柑橘調查報告」,我們不僅種植面積最大,產量、產值也都排行第一。所謂「人多好辦事」;我們除了供應本地市場,更飄洋過海,像香港、新加坡、馬來西亞、加拿大、日本都有我們美麗的倩影,外銷量僅次於香蕉姑娘。

說了半天,還沒向您自我介紹。在分類學上,本族叫芸香科,我們這一房稱柑橘屬,像椪柑、桶柑、溫州蜜柑、檸檬、甜橙、柚子、葡萄柚等都是我的伯叔嬸姨。此處不一一細說,光提我——椪柑(寬皮柑),和我的同父異母妹妹桶柑(寬皮柑和甜橙的後代)就夠您瞧了。

我們都是這樣長大的

入秋後,樹葉轉枯,天氣漸涼,這時我便悄悄現身,青澀的模樣惹得久違的朋友,忍不住要買幾個回家嚐嚐。其實剛上市的不僅貴也酸;耐點性,到了十一月左右便真正成熟了,像銅鈴般的掛滿枝頭,在冬陽堸{耀金光。

我們從幼苗到適婚年齡大概要三年,之後每年的三月是結婚旺季,在蜜蜂、蝴蝶的祝福聲中,戴起滿頭白花。花不僅白得好看,更有淡淡香氣,古人便採橘花來蒸衣服、書籍,以驅蠹蟲。

婚禮之後喜訊頻傳,但這期間可不比人類來得輕鬆,得經過七個多月,方能生出寶寶們。而且懷孕期間也得專心照顧,施肥、除蟲、剪枝、灌溉都要費心,才能孕育出高人一等的孩子。像卓蘭的椪柑,以專業管理栽培,所生產的橘子不僅外形色澤俱佳,並且可以貯藏長達五個月,果實外表、品質、重量皆不變劣,因此售價總是高於其他地區。

金屋藏「橘」

其實我們個性算是滿粗獷的,在樹上的日子不必像葡萄、水梨,得一個個穿衣呵護,但在接生(收成)時,卻是挺嬌貴的。

接生時,必須選擇天氣晴朗且果上露水已乾之吉日良時,接生的姑娘得戴上手套,使用圓頭剪子,才不會刮傷我的皮膚,剪時不可抓著我的身子往下拉,最好是拉著果梗剪下再修平。這些步驟要是稍不留意,都會使日後貯藏發生困難。

等大夥統統集合好,先放個三到五天,使果實逐漸發汗,以減少呼吸及蒸發作用。再來就是選美大會(分級),先量三圍,以圓周為準,分十九、廿一、廿五、廿七、卅公分,自動選果機自會依環肥燕瘦分類歸好。

除了三圍,也得看內涵及相貌。評審工作做得徹底,在外銷時可節省人工,提高包裝效率;內銷時則可依箱外標誌處理,而不必在批發市場上,遭受翻箱倒櫃、挑東撿西的待遇。

至於太太、小姐上市場挑橘子,如果是時鮮貨則選擇果皮粗糙,果基(蒂端)微凸的較甜;如果已過產季,那上市的便是經貯藏的橘子,這時便要選皮細光滑、果形扁圓,而果基平平的才會多汁,這是卓蘭鎮農會推廣股張宏政種橘多年的相橘術。

人類說「物以稀為貴」,採擷下的橘子,如果一口氣爭相上市,價格便會降低,因此,加以貯藏不僅可延長供果時間,也可提高售價。

藏橘的金屋,必須選擇排水良好的地段,濕度、溫度都要適時控制。這時我們便一個個身穿「睡衣」(塑膠套),規規矩矩相偎在木箱子中,等我們一覺醒來,可能是清明羅!到時身價即不可同日而語了。

談癌色變

或許您會以為我們家族成功得太容易,其實也是幾經波折的。

據我從新竹來的姨奶奶說,民國五十年起,新竹一帶的柑橘感染了黃龍病,起先是罹病者葉脈黃化,容易落葉,並引起枝條枯死。慢慢便傳染全株,而且病原經媒蟲傳佈感染整園,病況非常嚴重,即使施藥強救,雖可使橘樹繼續存活,產量亦急遽減少。所以只有根除一途。當時不僅是新竹橘園,幾乎全台的橘園也無一倖免。因此我們橘類親戚只要一聞「黃龍」壓境,無不驚嚇喪膽。

為此,台灣農林試驗所特別培育新生一代——無病毒潔淨苗木,以這些健康寶寶來替汰有病的的老橘樹,目前已交由青果運銷合作社繁殖推廣,農民們只要花五十元,便可將健康寶寶帶回家去。黃龍病在台灣雖未絕跡,但農民已不再受其威脅。然而,由於市場反應不錯,農民大量栽植,再一兩年後恐怕將出現供過於求的情況。

對橘子研究深入的台大園藝系教授林樸表示,台灣柑橘目前最迫切要做的,是無病毒潔淨苗木繁殖制度化,加強品種改良、土壤酸鹼質調節,以提高產量、降低成本,進而建立行銷網,增加外銷市場,才不致在生產過剩下使價格滑落。

「這一切必須建立在『事業觀』之下,凡事以業餘心態來做總不會成功的」,林樸也指出,目前,少有國家的桶柑品質可和我們相比,而桶柑又可加工製成果汁,因此市場仍大有可為。

甘蜜吉祥

桶柑的成熟期較晚,大約要到農曆過年時才大量上市,因此又叫年柑。在天時、地利及討喜外表下,便成了喜慶的貢果。

桶柑的名字喊起來和「吉」相近,因此有著吉祥的好兆頭,人類在過年時除了發給小朋友紅包,常也會塞上幾個橘子,希望他吉祥平安。

供桌上更少不了我們,疊成金字塔形,或擺上一個大型的虎頭柑,都代表了祈求大吉大利之意。就如「台灣風土志」的記載:「春節時,將柏枝插入柿子及橘子中,供祖先牌位前,取百(柏)事(柿)大吉(橘)。」

省立博物館人類學組組長阮昌銳表示:「橘與吉音同,大橘子便是大吉大利之意,而其形圓,取其團圓,其色金黃,取其珍貴之意。」

而閩南語中橘子叫柑仔,柑之音與甘同,因此新娘到了夫家,由新郎「請出轎」後,必須有個小孩端上兩個身圍紅腰帶的橘子請新娘用手摸摸,以祝兩位新人「糖甘蜜甜」。當然新娘也得給個紅包,以示謝意。

一身是寶

我們家族在中國住得夠久了,中國人一直是我最知心的朋友,我的優點、缺點他們沒有不知道的。

中國最有名的藥典「本草綱目」就對我全身上下的妙用,無一疏漏。像橘葉可消腫散毒、肉可潤肺止渴,其它如青皮、陳皮、橘紅、橘絡、橘核也都有療效。除了古書有載,現代醫學家也對我頗有心得呢!

台北醫學院藥學研究所教授楊玲玲就認為,橘子的果肉味甘酸、性涼,可以開胃、生津、醒酒,不過味酸的橘子吃了會生痰,因此感冒、咳嗽、氣喘者不宜食用。而將橘皮曬乾或陰乾則成陳皮,顧名思義,陳皮乃愈陳效果愈好,它可以理氣化痰,治胸腹漲滿、嘔吐、咳嗽,並可解魚、蟹之毒,是有名的中藥材。

此外,在橘子未黃皮青時,剝下來的皮叫青皮,青皮氣味辛芳,皮薄而亮,還可以治肝膽病、小兒消化不良。

一般人在剝食橘子的時候,常會將果肉上的筋絡(果絡)去淨,並將種子丟棄,其實橘絡和橘核都有妙用。

「把橘絡曬乾或以微火烘乾,可以理氣化痰、通經絡、治久咳胸痛;而橘核則可以止痛、治疝氣」,楊教授補充。

說了這麼多,還沒說盡我的好處。橘皮的白色內層部分叫橘白,是補脾胃名藥;而陳皮去橘白叫橘紅,效用和陳皮相似,但較辛烈。

廣東三寶

我的這一身寶,要算廣東人最懂得利用。廣東人有三寶即葵扇、陳皮及禾桿草,因此廣東賣橘子分兩種,一瓣瓣剝淨去皮絡的橘子要比完好帶皮的橘子便宜,因為橘皮和絡都是寶。

籍貫廣東的美術工作者張敏儀形容兒時母親「曬橘皮」的經驗說:「每逢橘子產季,母親便將剝下的橘皮晾了一屋子,再仔細收藏。因此一年四季家中總是飄有淡淡橘味,母親常以陳皮燉肉熬排骨湯,或在綠豆稀飯中加些陳皮,味道清爽又開胃。」

廣東人珍愛橘子,即使是未成熟而落地的小橘子,他們也會收集壓扁,曬過以後泡在甘草糖水,當成蜜餞食用。

家中有手足冰冷、想吐、感冒者,不妨來碗橘皮茶,做法很簡單,只要將四兩陳皮和一兩生薑切絲,加水二升以大火煮沸,再改小火熬成一半,即可趁熱飲用;而將收集的橘絡一錢洗淨炒成金黃,加水一碗煮沸,改以小火煮至八分,趁熱飲用則是解酒良方。

儘管我的好處多多,又含有豐富的維他命A、B1、C等,但是也不可吃得太多。台大食品科技研究所教授李錦楓表示:「橘子的糖分很高,多吃會發胖,並且其性冷,吃多容易打嗝,如果身體屬冷底者,一天最好以吃一個為限。」

色香氣味皆可喜

古來騷人墨客對我的描寫不可勝數,而其中我卻最喜歡宋人李綱「食橘」的描寫:

洞庭一夜天雨霜,橘林綠苞朝已黃,

遠題書後三百顆,入手便覺秋風香;

黃金為膚白玉瓤,沆瀣深貯甘且芳,

雕盤初擘噀清露,冰齒乍嚼流瓊漿,

色香氣味紛可喜,下視眾果皆茫茫。

李綱真是我的伯樂,知我色香氣味皆可喜。可惜知音難尋,現代人總是匆匆忙忙,二三口便將我生吞活剝,只怕都下了胃,也還未品出滋味哪!

〔圖片說明〕

P.37

曬曬陽光,金黃閃耀的我們,等不及過年就要到你家去拜年了。

P.37

今年的橘子多又好,個個都可參加橘子小姐選拔呢!

P.39

人死留名,橘死留皮。

P.39

風乾橘皮雖然不怎麼好看,卻是越陳越有味。

P.39

吃我肉,剝我皮,廣東人剝橘子還講刀法呢?

P.40

鮮美多汁,一台斤才十五元,你說是不是物美價廉嘛!

P.40

大橘大吉,我們是報喜的好夥伴。(王煒昶攝)

P.41

來!來!來!擺個姿勢拍張大合照吧!

相關文章

近期文章

EN

A Citrus Aristocrat

Ventine Tsai /photos courtesy of P. J. Chen /tr. by Peter Eberly

In Chinese I'm a chutzu. To botanists I'm Citrus nobilis deliciosa. Most of you know me as a tangerine orange. By whatever name you will, I'm still plump, sweet, and juicy, the delicious aristocrat of the citrus family.


Our family history goes back at least 4,000 years, when we were already well established in the south of China, and the classical texts the Book of History, the Records of the Grand Historian, and The Songs of the South all record our name. During the Sung dynasty (960-1279) a man named Han Yen-chih wrote the Chulu, or A Record of the Tangerine Orange, which details our characteristics, varieties, and methods of cultivation.

It was during the K'ang Hsi era (1662-1723) of the Ching dynasty that we first came to Ilha Formosa, the beautiful island of Taiwan. Came and stayed, because the soil and climate here are just right for us. We turned out plumper and juicier than ever, and we soon became the number-one fruit on the island.

According to a 1988 government report, we tangerines rank first among fruits on Taiwan in production quantity, production value, and cultivated acreage. Besides supplying the local market, we also travel overseas to places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, and Japan, in numbers that make us second only to bananas as an export.

Every autumn, as soon as the weather turns chilly and the leaves start to fall, we quietly turn up in stores and marketplaces, where few of our friends can resist taking us home for a taste. Actually, when we first come on the market we're not only expensive but pretty sour too. But if people have a little patience, we'll be ripe and ready around November, when we hang from our branches like golden bells flashing in the winter sunlight.

It takes us about three years to grow from a sapling to a tree of eligible age. The peak of the wedding season comes every March, when we march down the aisle decked out in gowns of lovely white blossoms, with bees and butterflies as our bridesmaids.

The glad news arrives soon after the honeymoon, but being with child is no easier for us than it is for humans. Pregnancy lasts a full seven months, and we've got to be carefully attended to--fertilized, sprayed, trimmed, and watered--if the infants are to turn out right.

Actually, we're pretty hardy most of the time--we don't need protective clothing like grapes or pears--but when delivery (harvest) time rolls around we need special pampering. The weather should be clear and fair, and the dew on our skins should already have dried away. The midwives should wear gloves and use round-tipped clippers so as not to cut our skins, and they shouldn't just grab our bodies and yank--they should hold the stems and clip. Otherwise there'll be problems in storage later.

After we've been collected together, we should be set aside for three or four days to allow us to form juice inside and decrease respiration and evaporation. After that comes a beauty contest, where we're separated by an automatic machine according to our measurements (19, 21, 25, 27, 30 cm) and then graded for looks and personality. A thorough job of classification can save labor and increase packaging efficiency for exporters and enable domestic wholesalers to rely on the label instead of picking through boxes and subjecting us to rough treatment.

Smart shoppers know that when we're in season the sweetest ones among us have thick skins and protruding bellybuttons (bases), but that when we've been stored the ones to look for have thin, glossy skins and flat stomachs.

The reason they store us is supply and demand. If we flooded the market all at once we'd go down in price, so storing not only lengthens our selling season but raises our price.

Our sleeping quarters must have good drainage and be properly controlled for moisture and temperature. When the time comes to bed down, we slip into our pyjamas and nestle down quietly in our crates, knowing that when we wake up we'll be more precious than ever.

We're especially popular at Chinese New Year, when we're given as presents to children or displayed on a table in the shape of a pyramid. Chinese people think we're auspicious because their name for us (chu) sounds similar to their word for good luck (chi). They see our round shape as representing family unity and our gold color as rare and precious.

I've been in China for a long time, and Chinese people are my best friends. I've even inspired a lot of poets. One of my favorite descriptions comes from "Eating Tangerines" by Li Kang of the Sung dynasty:

Yellow gold the outer skin,

the pulp a pearly white;

filled with nectar, storing deep

a savor rich and ripe.

When broken open on a plate,

they seep a liquid dew;

when bitten into, all at once

they burst with luscious juice.

Aroma, flavor, luster, taste,

each a rare delight.

Compared with these all other fruits

are scarcely worth a bite.

Li Kang was a real connoisseur and knew how to appreciate my finer qualities. Unfortunately, friends like him are few and far between. Everyone's in a big hurry these days. They polish me off in a few bites, and I'm down in their stomachs before I've really been savored!

[Picture Caption]

Flashing golden in the sunlight, we can't wait to visit your home for the New Year.

Tangerines this year are plentiful and high in quality. Each of these could take part in a Miss Tangerine contest.

A dying person leaves behind his name, a tangerine its peel.

Dried tangerine peels may not look so pretty but they flavor with age.

The Cantonese turn orange peeling into a fine art.

Fresh and juicy, for just NT$15 a pound--is that a bargain or isn't it?

Tangerines make auspicious companions on festive occasions. (photo by Wang Wei-chang)

Come on everybody! Strike a pose for the camera!

 

X 使用【台灣光華雜誌】APP!
更快速更方便!