Weird Veggies

You know how, when you’re really hungry, all sorts of strange things start to look or sound appetizing?

When I lived year-round close to 40 miles from the end of a dirt road, I dreamed about all kinds of foods that were out of reach.

Sometimes, it would be hamburgers or candy, or …

boot leather.

Hmmm … jerky, anyone?

Photo by Ragesoss via Wikimedia Commons

Well, this time of year, I get such a yen for some good ol’ dirt-grown grub that I’m liable to think about nibbling on anything I can get my hands on.

(Hide the houseplants, here she comes.)

photo by James Rickwood via Wikimedia Commons

I get it, Bessie.

I really do.

I suppose that’s why a few odd foods caught my eye lately and made me say,

“I want to BITE that.”

Like, now.

To gain some perspective, I think I need to bounce my cravings off you, to see if you can relate to me the way I relate to Bessie.

So if you don’t mind, take a look and let me know if any of these peculiar crops induces the urge to indulge.


Photo by Natalie-S via Wikimedia Commons

This succulent-looking wild veggie, common on sea coasts, is enjoyed by English enthusiasts who prefer it pickled.


Photo by Nzfauna S via Wikimedia Commons

Tangier and sweeter than potatoes, the flavor of this native Andean root has been described as almost fruitlike (I’d love to taste the “Apricot” variety, popular in New Zealand).


Photo by New Brunswick Tourism via Wikimedia Commons

One might migrate to Maine just to try these fabulous baby fern fronds (although you can probably find them closer to home). Northeasterners gather them in the woods and serve them fresh or boiled with mayonnaise and butter.

Tiger Nuts

Photo by Tamorlan via Wikimedia Commons

These tasty looking little nuggets aren’t actually nuts, they’re the tuberous roots of the chufa sedge plant. In Spain, they’re often soaked in warm water before eating and are used to make tiger-nut milk (like almond or cashew milk). I hear they have a sweet, nutty flavor … yum.


Photo by Aurelien Guichard via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t you just love the look of this captivating cauliflower variety? According to the folks at Mother Nature Network, the Romanesco’s spirals follow the Fibonacci sequence, which is a bit over my head, but not too sophisticated for my stomach.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I tried to grow Romanesco last Fall and it sort of fizzled. My flower didn’t look nearly as pretty and it opened up very quickly. As to the taste, it is very close to broccoli but more bitter. Or maybe mine was just weird. I would like to try it again if I can find it.

  2. Back in my earlier, poorer days, I actually collected fiddleheads when I lived in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and sold them to the gourmet restaurants. They are a wonderful and a very short lived delicacy. Romanesco Broccoli is notorious for being difficult to grow, or grow nicely at any rate. I have a friend who grows oca, but he is studying ethno-botany and he has sources for such plant matter.
    Oh, MaryJane, speaking of weird try Skirret. Here is info on it from my website as I am the only person who grows these plants and sells their seeds in the USA, it is the second one down:

  3. Karlyne says:

    The ocas look like something out of the ocean, sea urchins or something. I’d love to try them, especially!

  4. Darlene Ricotta says:

    I have seen the Romanesco Broccoli before and it really is a beautiful vegetable, the others I have not ever seen before but I am always willing to try things at least once.


  5. Bonnie ellis says:

    How fun to learn about new things. New experiences in eating.

  6. Virginia Meyer says:

    I have eaten fiddle head ferns! They are quite tasty! Especially with a pinch of salt and lots of butter! I’ve also tasted Virginia water leaf and lambs quarters. (Wild plants.) I’ve also tasted a few other wild plants that I don’t remember the names of. I’ve eaten leaves off a tree, (baby ones are best)! A guy friend of mine loves to forage for wild plants, and he will bring samples to me to try. He also knows where to find wild morel mushrooms too!

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