Monday, 9 April 2012

Food & Animal: Hasma & Common House Gecko


Dim Sum Order Sheet
Image from Locky's English Playground

Like I have always told my students, there are always something to learn, as long as you pay special attention to the surrounding.

Actually, before I went to see the Geminoid F, I went to yum cha in the morning. While waiting for the tea to arrive, I read the dim sum order sheet like all other dim sum enthusiasts. But unlike other enthusiasts, I only read the English. By doing that, I found something intriguing. That is what you see from the photo -- Hasma.

Hasma in Chinese Sweet Soup
Image from A Food Wonderland

Many people thought that hasam is the semen of snow leopard geckos.

Snow leopard gecko
Image from vmsherp
In fact, it is not that disgusting.

According to Wikipedia, hasma is "made from the dried fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of true frogs, typically the Asiatic Grass Frog (Rana chensinensis)"

And what are fallopian tubes?
Female Reproduction System of Human
Image from Wikipedia
So you can see, hasma is some kind of fat that is near to the part the frogs produce eggs, which is why they are also packed with hormones and ingesting too much will lead to early puberty in children as the Hong Kong Department of Health has announced in 2007[1].

What kind of hormones? Not sure, but for sure it will drive up the sex hormone level in human.

By the way, those geckos that live in our home are called common house geckos. They are nice creatures, try not to hurt them when you see one. They will leave after they have helped you eat the spiders and ants in your home.

Common House Gecko
Image from Pbase

Vocabulary:
enthusiast -- (n) [C] a person who is very interested in and involved with a particular subject or activity
intriguing -- (adj) very interesting because of being unusual or mysterious
hasma -- (n)[U] a Chinese and widely Central Asian dessert ingredient made from the dried fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of true frogs, typically the Asiatic Grass Frog (Rana chensinensis)
semen -- (n) [U] a thick whitish liquid containing sperm which is produced by the sex organs of men and some male animals
snow leopard gecko -- (n)[C] 
fallopian tube -- (n)[C] also known as oviducts, uterine tubes, and salpinges (singular salpinx) are two very fine tubes lined with ciliated epithelia, leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus, via the utero-tubal junction. In non-mammalian vertebrates, the equivalent structures are the oviducts.
puberty -- (n)[U] the stage in a person's life when they develop from a child into an adult because of changes in their body that make them able to have children
common house gecko -- (n)[C] scientific name Hemidactylus frenatus, is a native of southeastern Asia. It is also known as the Pacific house gecko, the Asian house gecko, or simply, the house lizard. They can be seen climbing walls of houses and other buildings in search of insects attracted to porch lights, hence their name.




Resources:

Hasma @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasma

Leopard Gecko @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_gecko

Fallopian tubes @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallopian_tubes

Common House Gecko @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_House_Gecko

[1] http://hk.next.nextmedia.com/template/next/art_main.php?iss_id=881&sec_id=1000853&art_id=6746807

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/enthusiast?q=enthusiast+
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/intriguing?q=intriguing+

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