US scientists have released the first giant vegetable soybean worldwide by the glorious name of Moon Cake.
The vegetable giant is the latest in a series of giant soybean plants developed by Thomas E. Devine, a geneticist at the US government's Agricultural Research Service, the others being for livestock grazing.
Vegetable soybeans - an increasingly popular health food - also called endamame, have large beans that are harvested when still green. They are boiled and slipped out of their pods and added to everything from salads to succotash, including mixed vegetables, soups and casseroles.
According to the scientist, farmers can sell Moon Cake's beans and then use leftover leaves and stems as a high-protein forage for livestock like sheep or goats.
An article in the latest ARS newsletter reports that the geneticist called his giant soybean 'Moon Cake' to associate it with the sweet cakes sold at the autumn Chinese 'Moon Cake Festival'. At festival time - September 11 in China this year - people gather spontaneously, carrying candle lanterns, to watch the full moon. Festival-goers make a wish for love, since the 'Man in the Moon' is a matchmaker in Chinese legends!