Brussels sprouts as they are now known were grown possibly as early as the 13th century in what is now Belgium. During the 16th century, they enjoyed a popularity in the southern Netherlands that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe. They are a cool weather crop that, rather than being damaged by a frost, actually gets a little sweeter and improves in taste. (more…)
Category: Featured Produce
Celeriac, aka celery root or knob of celery, is a distinct variety from the plant that produces the green stalks we enjoy in salads and soups; is cultivated specifically for its large, robust, and unfortunately rather ugly root. It is a distant cousin to anise, carrots, parsley and parsnips. Celeriac is recognized for its large, round, knobby and deeply gnarled, root ball.
Sunchokes, of the sunflower family, are native to North America where the natives called them “sun roots” before European settlers arrived. Samuel Champlain, a French explorer found them in Cape Cod in 1605 and pronounced them similar in taste to artichokes. But why “Jerusalem artichokes”? They don’t come from Jerusalem nor do they look like artichokes. There are a few theories: when first discovered people started calling them “girasole” (or flower that turns looking for the sun) which eventually became “Jerusalem”. Another possibility is that as sunchokes became the staple food of the first European pilgrims in North American soil they named it as food for the “new Jerusalem”. (more…)
Easy to grow and store, high-yielding, supernutritious and crunchy like an apple, yacon root (pronounced ya-kon) is one of the many “new” vegetables coming to us from South America. In reality, this fruitlike vegetable has been cultivated throughout the Andes for more than a millennium. South Americans eat it as a fruit; they also use the huge leaves to wrap foods during cooking, in the same way cabbage leaves are used in Germany, grape leaves in the Mideast and banana leaves in the tropics. Only recently – thanks to some adventurous green thumbs – have North Americans begun to see yacon in produce markets. (more…)
Delicata squash is a long, oblong-shaped squash with a cream colored, green-striped, outer skin and a golden, fine-textured inner flesh. This is one of the tastier winter squashes, with a creamy pulp that tastes a bit like corn and sweet potatoes. It can be baked or steamed and served as a side dish, seasoned with butter and herbs, providing a sweet nutty flavor with a creamy smooth texture. The thin skin is also edible. (more…)
Although considered a winter squash, acorn squash actually belongs to the same species as all “summer” squashes (such as zucchini and yellow squash). The most common variety is dark green in color, but newer varieties can be yellow, white, even variegated. As the name suggests, its shape resembles that of an acorn. It is a good candidate for winter storage, keeping several months in a cool dry location. Squash can be refrigerated, but it will deteriorate quickly and should only be refrigerated 1-2 weeks. (more…)
Daikon, or white radish, is traditional to Asian cooking. It is a long white radish, and given its shape and color, has been called an “icicle radish”. It is extremely versatile in cooking. You can use it anywhere you would normally use a regular radish, and in some ways that are unique. (more…)