My pedicurist, a lovely woman with a terrific sense of humor, has been busy lately making and selling a Vietnamese treat, called O Mai (pronounced Oh My).
It is what she serves her grandchildren instead of candy.
Laura dries a variety of fresh fruit outside on sunny days (no oven, no dehydrator, she likes things natural). Tamarind and ginger are used to cut the sweetness. She grinds licorice root into powder and also roughly chops some of it. The fruit balls are rolled around in the mixture until they are covered and no longer sticky.
I was intrigued, especially because she used apricots and kumquats in the latest batch.
I love apricots.
“I’ll buy a box,” I said. Sight unseen.
She was quick to reply, “Oh no, you might want to try a bite first.”
She brought out a container.
Hard to know what to say.
They were so ‘hairy’ looking.
Kinda like a root vegetable that was just dug up from the garden.
Laura laughed out loud and said, “Disgusting, right?”
But an oddly enjoyable mixture of sweet and sour.
Very filling. Meant to be served with a cup of tea.
Perhaps if they sat on a really pretty plate – to momentarily distract the eye - it would help the presentation factor.
I wonder if the name, O Mai, comes from the reaction of those seeing it for the first time.