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For the villages in Romania, see Făcăi (disambiguation).
Fat choy
Nostoc flagelliforme microscope.jpg
Nostoc flagelliforme under a microscope
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Division: Cyanobacteria
Class: see [1]
Order: Nostocales
Family: Nostocaceae
Genus: Nostoc
Species: N. flagelliforme
Binomial name
Nostoc flagelliforme
Komárek 2013

Fat choy (Nostoc flagelliforme), also known as faat choy, fa cai, black moss, hair moss or hair weed is a terrestrial cyanobacterium (a type of photosynthetic bacteria) that is used as a vegetable in Chinese cuisine. When dried, the product has the appearance of black hair. For that reason, its name in Chinese means "hair vegetable." When soaked, this vegetable has a very soft texture which is like very fine vermicelli.

Production[edit]

Fat choy
Faat choy.jpg
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning hair vegetable
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Literal meaning hair vegetable

Fat choy grows on the ground in the Gobi Desert and the Qinghai Plateau. Over-harvesting on the Mongolian steppes has furthered erosion and desertification in those areas. The Chinese government has limited its harvesting, which has caused its price to increase. This may be one reason why some commercially available fat choy has been found to be adulterated with strands of a non-cellular starchy material, with other additives and dyes.[2][3] Real fat choy is dark green in color, while the counterfeit fat choy appears black.[2]

Chinese culture[edit]

The last two syllables of this name in Cantonese sound the same as another Cantonese saying meaning "struck it rich" (though the second syllable, coi, has a different tone) -- this is found, for example, in the Cantonese saying, "Gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4" (恭喜發財, meaning "wishing you prosperity"), which is often proclaimed during Chinese New Year. For that reason, this product is a popular ingredient in dishes used for the Chinese New Year. It is enjoyed as an alternative to cellophane noodles.[citation needed] It is mostly used in Cantonese cuisine and Buddhist cuisine. It is sometimes used as a hot pot ingredient.

Vietnamese culture[edit]

Fat choy is also used in Vietnamese cuisine. It is called tóc tiên or tóc thiên (literally "angel's hair") in Vietnamese.

Health effects[edit]

A research team from the biochemistry department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong said that international research has shown that Fat choy, besides having no nutritional value, has also been found to contain Beta-methylamino L-alanine (BMAA), a toxic amino acid that could affect the normal functions of nerve cells. Professor Chan King-ming of the team told the media that eating Fat choy could lead to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and dementia.[2]

There is also a study by Takenaka which shows no significant difference between laboratory rats fed Nostoc flagelliforme and the control group .[4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ ijs.sgmjournals.org
  2. ^ a b c The standard.com.hk
  3. ^ Waynesword
  4. ^ Takenaka, H., Yamaguchi, Y., Sakaki, S., Watarai, K., Tanaka, N., Hori, M., Seki, H., M. Tsuchida, M., Yamada, A., Nishimori, T., and Morinaga, T. "Safety evaluation of 'Nostoc flagelliforme' (Nostocales, Cyanophyceae) as a potential food". Food and Chemical Toxicology. 1998. Volume 36, Issue 12. Pages 1073-1077.

Bibliography[edit]

  • But, Paul Pui-Hay; Ling Cheng; Pui Kwan Chan; David Tai-Wai Lau; and Joyce Wing-Hin But (2002). "Nostoc flagelliforme and Faked Items Retailed in Hong Kong." Journal of Applied Phycology 14: 143-145.
  • Takenaka, H., Yamaguchi, Y., Sakaki, S., Watarai, K., Tanaka, N., Hori, M., Seki, H., M. Tsuchida, M., Yamada, A., Nishimori, T., and Morinaga, T. "Safety evaluation of Nostoc flagelliforme (nostocales, cyanophyceae) as a potential food". Food and Chemical Toxicology. 1998. Volume 36, Issue 12. Pages 1073-1077.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_choy — Please support Wikipedia.
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47314 news items

Patch.com

Patch.com
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:48:45 -0800

Gung Hay Fat Choy! It's the Lunar New Year and we're entering the Year of the Monkey which, “according to Chinese Horoscope: the characteristics of people born in the Year of the Monkey are curiosity, mischievousness, and cleverness. When it comes to ...

Maui News

Maui News
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:33:45 -0800

'Kung hee fat choy' time at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel. February 11, 2016. The Maui News. Save |. Come and celebrate the "Year of the Monkey" at Ka'anapali Beach Hotel's hugely popular annual Chinese New Year celebration brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ...

CBC.ca

CBC.ca
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 05:52:30 -0800

Lunar New Year is like Christmas at the home of CBC Radio producer Elaine Chau. Chau, who is Chinese and hails from Hong Kong, says there may be no presents, but there is plenty of bickering, and always a feast. "Every New Year's Eve dinner, we cook ...
 
Santa Fe Reporter
Wed, 03 Feb 2016 00:03:44 -0800

Every few years, a new product explodes upon the global mixology scene, and bar folks' ears perk up. A new toy! A few years back, genever, the Dutch predecessor to today's gin, became the darling of the industry with its unique, malty flavor. Today ...

South China Morning Post (subscription)

South China Morning Post (subscription)
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 00:25:32 -0800

Apart from getting down and boogying, it can perform bows and reel out phrases like kung hei fat choy (“I wish you wealth”) or any other message you care to dub in. It works by applying the features from your photo to a 3D puppet. Most parts can be ...

Examiner.com

Examiner.com
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 22:56:15 -0800

So, February 8th will usher in the year of the Monkey, and thus begins the year 4713 by the Chinese calendar. Never being one to pass up an opportunity to celebrate, I embrace Chinese New Years with open arms. What's not to like; lots of color, lots of ...

Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Sun
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 12:48:45 -0800

The day of the Lunar New Year may have passed, but Metro Vancouverites looking to celebrate in style — and perhaps mix in some Valentine's Day cheers along with their “Gung Hay Fat Choy” — still have plenty of options this weekend. The big event will ...

TAHITI INFOS

TAHITI INFOS
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:27:13 -0800

Kung Hi Fat Choy! Le programme du Nouvel an chinois. PAPEETE, le 8 février 2016 - Kung Hi Fat Choi ! C'est aujourd'hui que commence officiellement le Nouvel an chinois, et les célébrations vont durer jusqu'au 20 février prochain. Voici le programme des ...
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