So far we’ve explored some weird, wacky veggies that you may not have known even existed. Today, we’re going to finish up this series with some truly odd vegetables.
But before you read on…BEWARE!
These aren’t your usual carrot sticks!
It’s No Joke. It’s an Artichoke
The Artichoke is a strange looking vegetable that was once eaten by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is native to the Mediterranean area, but now it is mostly grown in California, Spain, Italy, and France.
This weird veggie grows as a tall stalk from 4.6 to 6.6 feet high. The stalk has wide green leaves, but it is the bud that forms on top that is edible. If left to develop the artichoke bud turns into a flower.
When the artichoke is still on its stem, it can grow up to around 5.9 inches. It has lots of triangular “scales,” and the florets on the inside are purple – these would later be part of the flower.
The part of this vegetable that may be eaten are the fleshy lower parts of the bud and the base. The base is known as the heart of the artichoke. The immature florets in the middle are called the “choke” or “beard.”
Even though the artichoke has a weird appearance, it has a mild taste and takes on the flavors of the food or spices it is cooked with.
Are you brave enough to try an artichoke?
Salsify Looks Like a Goat’s Beard?
The Salsify may look gross under the ground, but above the ground, it has a beautiful flower. This plant is part of the sunflower family and is native to Europe and Asia.
The root of the salsify plant is the part that is dug up, peeled and cooked. Good thing as this vegetable is also called a goatsbeard – not too sure anyone would want to eat a plant by that name!
The purple salsify is the one most commonly eaten, but the taste may not be what you would expect – this root vegetable is a bit sweet and tastes like oysters.
The young shoots and leaves of the salsify can also be consumed.
Are you brave enough to try the salsify?
Yardlong Beans, aka Snake Beans
These wacky, weird veggies may look like a green bean. However, unlike your typical green bean, the Snake Bean is the immature pods of the vines they grow on (green beans grow as edible beans).
In warm climates, these pods can grow many inches in one day. The average length of a Yardlong Bean is from 12 inches to 18 inches long.
This veggie is native to Southeastern Asia, Southern China, and Thailand.
When preparing a Snake Bean you will want to avoid boiling them – they become waterlogged and bland. These beans are best cooked with oil (sauteed, stir-fried, or deep-fried). This method will intensify their flavor and keep the texture tight, yet juicy.
Are you brave enough to try the Snake Bean?
Have You Eaten Your Veggies Today?
Now that we’ve discovered some new veggies, perhaps you are ready to try something new.
Whether you eat one of these weird, wacky veggies, or stick to the old favorites, getting your greens is vital to good health.
Have you eaten your veggies today? If not grab a carrot stick, a celery stalk or maybe even a Brussels sprout or two. After all, vegetables do the body good.
If you were adventurous enough to try one of these weird, wacky veggies, drop us a line in the comments section – we’d love to know what you think!