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Photographer's Note

Many call Areca "Betel Nut". There are two mistakes in this: firstly, the betel is a green leaf of a climbing plant in which the nut is wrapped, and secondly, it is not really a nut.
The areca is the seed of a fruit categorized as a berry. It is commercially available in dried, cured, and fresh forms. When the husk of the fresh fruit is green, the nut inside is soft enough to be cut with a typical knife. In the ripe fruit, the husk becomes yellow or orange, and as it dries, the fruit inside hardens to a wood-like consistency. At that stage, the areca nut can only be sliced using a special scissors-like cutter.
Usually for chewing, a few slices of the nut are wrapped in a betel leaf along with calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and may include clove, cardamom, catechu, or other spices for extra flavouring. Betel leaf has a fresh, peppery taste, but it can also be bitter to varying degrees depending on the variety.
Areca nuts are chewed with betel leaf for their effects as a mild stimulant, causing a warming sensation in the body and slightly heightened alertness, although the effects vary from person to person.

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Additional Photos by yuval naaman (kogawa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 85 W: 111 N: 513] (4724)
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