Smell Of The Week
October 18, 2015
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The wonderful autumnal display of yellow from the leaves of the 114,000 ginko trees in the South Korean capital has its downside, it seems. Highly nutritious when cooked the nuts which are produced by the female trees, which make up about 10% of Seoul’s ginko trees, have an acid in their husks which produces a smell akin to that of vomit when they are left unpicked. At the moment, according to reports I read this week, the stench pervades the city’s atmosphere.
The obvious solution would be to pick the nuts but there is one problem – the nuts belong to the city and picking them would constitute theft and so they are left to rot in the street. Bizarrely, Seoul employs 446 people to shake the trees to dislodge the nuts before they start to cause a stink. An operation reported to be costing some £14m will commence next month to move the female trees away from sites where people congregate.
Beauty truly comes at a price.