Wednesday, 30 June 2010

New Vegetables

I'm not a very adventurous eater. I grew up in a meat-and-potatoes house. My favorite foods are Bran Flakes (discontinued in the US--shame on you, Kelloggs) and french fries. Over the past few years, thanks to a few friends, I've discovered some fruits and veg that I never knew existed prior to their having introduced me to them. Latest in this long line: kohlrabi.

When I first saw it, I thought: wow that's probably easy to pull up because the stems of it's long, leafy green leaves wrap about the body of it. It's cabbage looking, but with a hard casing like a pumpkin. The leaves looked like a lettuce. Apparently, it comes from German words meaning cabbage and turnip and that pretty well describes it. The inner bits look and taste turnip like, but looking at it whole, you'd guess it were in the cabbage family. I did anyway, so I was pretty surprised when I cut into it.

Anna and I had no clue what it was. It came in her CSA veggie box and the letter listing the box's contents had disappeared. We puzzled over it. I cut it in half, cut off the outer layer and cut the heart of it into cubes for a stir fry. We tried the inner flesh and I tried chewing the skin.

Only today did I learn what it was. Kohlrabi. Never heard of it before, so I looked it up. I've sinec learned it's a cultivar of cabbage that will grow almost anywhere. It's the most commonly eaten vegetable in Kashmir. It has varieties with very regal sounding names: White Vienna, Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Gigante (also known as "Superschmeltz"), Purple Danube, and White Danube.

I'm happy to get to know a new vegetable. It is as delicious raw as it is cooked in a stir fry. Thanks, Anna!

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