April 7, 2008 at 7:22 am
I’ve been Licking the Produce for over a year now, and damn is my tongue sore. I’ve tried countless new fruits and vegetables. Well, you actually could count them, but I’m too lazy to go back through the archives and do that. Let’s just say there have been a lot. Here are some more.
The yellow plum really did start out yellow, but turned a nice shade of red by the time I took a picture. It tasted like a plum. What I enjoyed most about the plum was that it came from Chile, which made me think of Kyle, (Hey, Kyle!) and how cool it is that blogging has allowed me to meet people in countries that export tropical fruits to the US.
Last fall I tried all of the squash pictured above – an acorn squash, a gold acorn squash, a white acorn squash and a delicata. They all tasted like squash. That’s why I didn’t blog about it.
In the past two months I’ve desperately been searching the produce section for fruits and vegetables that I haven’t tried. I was hoping some mutant product of Argentina would pop up between the oranges and the apples so I wouldn’t have to buy this…
A rutabaga. Anything but the rutabaga.
It’s certainly not the most attractive of the root vegetables. During my previous trips to the produce section I would always spy it in the corner, between the butternut and acorn squash. It loomed over me, waiting patiently, my dark destiny. Finally, in a desperate grab for blogging material, I purchased one.
Then I let it sit in my fresher drawer for a month.
Yes, literally a month. I would open up the drawer, spot the grey, waxy, rock in the corner, and then I’d grab a peach or a pear and mutter, “I should really cook that before it goes bad.” I did this week after week. Waiting. But the damn rutabaga refused to go bad. Damn you, root vegetables, and your long longevity! I looked at the rutabaga last night and realized I wasn’t sure I’d know if it had gone bad. Was that white stuff a layer of wax or was it mold growing along the skin? I took out a paring knife and started to slice into it and was relieved to see that the inside of the rutabaga was a much more attractive and normal-looking orange color. So, I cracked and finally looked up instructions on how to cook rutabagas. I peeled it, cubed it, and boiled it in a skillet with some margarine, salt, pepper and a bit of chili powder and brown sugar.
It was good! I was shocked! It tasted sort of like potato. I suspect I enjoyed the meal not so much because of the rutabaga itself, but because the rutabaga served as a delivery device for the margarine, salt, pepper, chili powder and brown sugar. I’ve noticed there are lots of vegetables that can be used as a bland, base, filler ingredient which you eat solely so you can coat them in the tasty stuff that you really want to eat: celery and cream cheese dip, squash covered in butter and garlic, zucchini dipped in hummus. Add rutabaga to the list.
It also gave me an excellent opportunity to use my new skillet, retail value $60.00, but purchased at Marshalls for only $24.99. I walked in there looking for a pair of jeans and walked out with cookware, a huge metal wall hanging, and two pretty shoe boxes.
As for the Lick the Produce series, I might be able to hit a Mexican grocery store next week. If not, I’m going to have to look up a local Asian grocer, because I am completely out of material here. I ate a rutabaga for God’s sake.