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Author Topic: New vegetables  (Read 10384 times)
David Bracey
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« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2014, 08:09:13 AM »

I have just read that Peru is one of the largest asparagus producers in the world.  Perhaps this answers my first question. 

Production in Peru opens many enviromental questions.  This is probably not the forum for such a discussion?
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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.
meltemi
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« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2014, 11:18:37 AM »

The Turkish villagers here also gather the curling tendrils of a climbing vine Smilax excelsa, often seen encircling the many kermes oaks on our phryghana slope, to be used in soups and omelettes, as well as the aforementioned wild asparagus - it is also host to an abundance of wild mushroooms a type of chanterelle, of which i gathered several kilos yesterday. İt is a foragers' paradise here.
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Trevor Australis
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« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2014, 06:36:04 AM »

I think it's an OK subject David. We get asparagus from Peru too - as well as from Mexico, California and China. It's out of season, naturally but it does pose ethical challenges about air-miles and 3rd World poverty. We can buy 2 bunches of Peruvian asparagus for $2. If the air transport costs are taken out, and the profits for the middlemen and the retailer what on Earth are those who grow it getting. It must be a pittance. Our Free Trade Agreements 'open' our market to this produce but at what societal cost? I won't buy it.
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John J
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« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2014, 08:07:17 AM »

David, I agree with Trevor that there's nothing wrong with the subject, maybe we should open a new thread for it?
To take up something else that Trevor said, regarding 'open' markets. Here in Cyprus they grow bananas (possibly not a good idea as they require a lot of water, but that's another matter), the small, sweet but not particularly aesthetically attractive variety. Since Cyprus joined the EU they have had to open their markets and allow the import of long, straight, more physically appealing bananas from Ecuador and other far flung places. The local producers are suffering in consequence even though, to my mind at least, the native ones are much sweeter than the alien imports and are cheaper. There is, as Trevor also points out, the question of air miles to be taken into consideration.
This is just one example, there are many more, as I'm sure there are in other countries.
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Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)
Joanna Savage
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« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2014, 06:02:00 AM »

Yesterday, theoldfoodie.com blogged an interesting old recipe for chufas, making both milk and coffee from them. The raw material is the swollen rhizome of Cyperus esculentus. My further reading revealed that we could also be eating or drinking  that terrible villain, Nut Grass, C.rotundus. Has anyone ever tried them or heard reports of the consumption? It must be hard work getting together enough roots to make a brew.
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JTh
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« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2014, 11:13:12 AM »

Have you tried cattails (Typha latifolia) and fiddleheads? I have, and they are both delicious.
 
The common cattail is said to be one of the best wild edible plants. The rhizomes are edible after cooking and removing the skin, while peeled stems and leaf bases can be eaten raw, or cooked. Young flower spikes are edible as well.

I see there is a recently published book (Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die by Diane Kochilas, published in October 2014) where the use of fiddleheads is described as one of spring’s most delicious treats. There are many edible fiddleheads, such as Polystichum munitum,  Pteridium aquilinum, (but the latter is not considered safe any longer), Matteuccia struthiopteris,  Athyrium filix-femina, Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis and Stenochlaena palustris, but also some poisonous ones, so beware.

The common cattail is said to be one of the best wild edible plants. The rhizomes are edible after cooking and removing the skin, while peeled stems and leaf bases can be eaten raw, or cooked. Young flower spikes are edible as well.

There is a long list of wild plants used by Ikarians in Diane Kochilas new book, I thought was interesting to read that the wild carrot (Daucus carota, the origin of the carrots we eat toady) is also used in several dishes, both leaves and flowers are used in phyllo pies. I know what I’ll try next spring, wild carrots grow abundantly in Halkidiki and the fields are covered in white flower carpets.
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Veterinary surgeon by training with a phD in parasitology, worked as virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS and Branch website editor. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.
David Bracey
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« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2014, 02:28:35 PM »

This morning we bought Cime di rape in the market.  This a winter vegetable evidentlly grown all over Southern Italy.  Commonly known as Turnip greens and technically as  Brassica  rapa var rapa.

A note on the net by Bill McKay describes it further.
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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.
Umbrian
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« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2014, 07:33:17 PM »

Very popular here in Umbria David but can't say I have ever found it very palatable Smiley
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David Dickinson
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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2014, 12:42:38 AM »

Cime di rape (Brassica rapa subsp. sylvestris var. esculenta). Wonderful! Not sure that they really are from turnips. If they are, what are the Brits doing throwing away the tops and eating the not-so-interesting roots?Huh If ever I find turnip tops on sale in the UK, I will try them out of curiosity to see if they are the same thing.

Classic recipe from Puglia in southern Italy is not quite vegan in that it contains anchovies. They also cook the cime in together with the pasta (orecchiette), which provides a more soup-like dish.

I prefer to boil the cime in a little salted water. When they are soft, scoop them out of the water but retain the water. Add some more water to the water used to boil the cime, enough to cook the quantity of pasta you need, add salt as necessary and bring the water back to the boil. Put your pasta into the boiling water. While the pasta is cooking, finely chop the cime. Heat a little good quality olive oil and brown a clove of garlic and chilli to taste. Add the cime and let them "refry" for as long as it takes for the pasta to cook. A minute before the pasta is ready, add as much fresh oil as necessary to the cime to allow you to coat the pasta with cime and allow it to warm a little but not reach boiling temperature and then stir the pasta into the frying pan with the cime, turning the pasta until it is well coated.

Simple yet one of my favourite dishes. Smiley
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I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0°C. Summer temperatures up to 40°C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.
Umbrian
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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2014, 07:40:20 AM »

Thanks David for the recipe - will give it a try as knowing how to cook things that are new to you is the secret I am sure. Smiley
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MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 17 years
Umbrian
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« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2014, 07:31:26 AM »

I was shopping in our local supermarket yesterday when I saw some mauve cauliflowers - to me they looked revolting and I cannot imagine eating them.......anybody know anything about them? Are they a naturally occurring variety or have they been "manufactured" - if so why?
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MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 17 years
JTh
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« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2014, 10:50:10 AM »

Cauliflower naturally comes in several colours, including orange and purple. The colour is not the result of genetic manipulation, but selective breeding, just like the white ones were once selected. I agree with you, though, it does not look particularly appetizing, the taste is probably more or less the same. The colour is caused by anthocyanins, which are said to have health benefits.
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Veterinary surgeon by training with a phD in parasitology, worked as virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS and Branch website editor. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.
David Dickinson
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« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2014, 11:56:09 AM »

Here in Rome we sometimes find green cauliflowers and a form which is so purple that it almost seems to be black. The green cauliflowers are round headed and not to be confused with the "broccolo romano" which, although similar to a cauliflower, has pointed florets which mound up into a pyramid shape https://it.search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=B211IT0D20120802&p=broccolo+romano.

I've never cooked the purple cauliflower but I wonder if it changes to green while being cooked like the purple peppers did when I once tried them.
https://it.search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=B211IT0D20120802&p=purple+cauliflower
https://it.search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=B211IT0D20120802&p=green+cauliflower
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I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0°C. Summer temperatures up to 40°C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.
Trevor Australis
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« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2014, 07:37:06 AM »

Here in Adelaide our local green-grocers are selling bunches of 'heirloom' carrots - white, yellow, soft orange and purple. They all taste pretty much the same. The colour of the purple variety run onto the plate when they are served, just like beetroot juice.
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M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.
Joanna Savage
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« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2017, 05:28:55 AM »

Not really a new vegetable, but a new presentation of four or five types of funghi ready for the pan. A supermarket convenience food which I expect  to be delicious, slightly sweated in our own oil with a little garlic and perhaps some lemon, then mixed with a rather absorbent pasta such as trofie.


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