Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No.9: Tomato

You say tomato, I say tomahto!
It'll still be as juicy & sweet!

1. The town of Buñol, Spain, annually
celebrates La Tomatina, a huge tomato fight!

2. All tomatoes belong to the genus Lycopersicon, meaning "wolf peach."

3. Tomatoes are often picked unripe & ripened in storage with ethylene, they tend to keep longer but are starchier & have poorer flavor than tomatoes ripened on the plant.

4. The heaviest tomato ever was 3.51 kg, of the cultivar 'Delicious', grown by Gordon Graham
of Oklahoma, 1986.

5. NEVER store tomatoes in the fridge or
55°F! They'll lose their nutritional
value & flavor.

Reference: Phrases, Wikipedia, Furmano's, Sundia Tomatoes

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry green christmas!!

No.8: Okra

Nothing does it better than a lovely serve of okra in stews or salads!

1. Okra is also lady's finger, bhindi & gumbo.

2. The word gumbo is based on the Central Bantu word for okra, kigombo, via the Caribbean Spanish guingambo or quimbombo, natural thickener.

3. Okra also is a hibiscus and will, if left to its own devices, burst into ornamental flowers perfectly suitable for your home garden!

4. Mature okra is used to make rope and paper!

5. Do not cook okra in pans made of iron, copper or brass. Even though the flavor remains unaffected, the metal creates a chemical reaction that turns pods black.

Reference: Wikipedia, The Slow Cook, Food Reference, Produce Guru

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No.7: Old Ginger

Ginger up all your dishes with this lovely rhizome-root!

1. The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent and used in Chinese cuisine to flavor mutton & seafood.

2. The powdered, dried form of ginger is used in baking gingerbread & ginger cookies.

3. Ginger has a sialagogue action, stimulating the production of saliva.

4. Length is a sign of maturity. Avoid wrinkled ginger, its an indication of aged ginger past its prime.

5. Different forms of ginger are not interchangeable in recipes. You'd get different baking results if you substitute ground ginger with fresh ones.

Reference: Food Reference, Wikipedia,, Gourmet Sleuth, Leslie Beck, RD

Sunday, December 16, 2007

No.6: Garlic

Widely used for its pungent flavor,
the garlic is a definite favourite!

1. Traditional British herbalism used garlic for hoarseness and coughs, a salve of garlic & lard was rubbed on the chest and back.

2. Some medical studies revealed that garlic was "the aspirin of the 90s"as it thinned the blood, similar to the effect of aspirin.

3. Fresh garlic is generally odor-free. Only when cut or crushed do chemical reactions take place which produce the glorious scent.

4. Chewing on several sprigs of raw parsley can significantly cut back on garlic breath.

5. People tend to think of garlic as a warm weather plant. Many varieties don't do well unless they experience cold winter weather.

Reference: Wikipedia, The Garlic Store

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No.5: Eggplant

The popular eggplant is also known as aubergine, garden egg, or brinjal!

Eggplant Fun Facts:
1) Eggplants are either white, green, yellowish, purple, or purple-black.

2) Europeans used to believe eggplants caused insanity, and called it the Mad Apple.

3) The raw fruit may have a bitter taste, but develops a rich, complex flavor when cooked.

4) Use a stainless-steel knife to cut it, since carbon-steel utensils can cause discolouration and a bitter aftertaste.

5) Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with 100ng/g (or 0.01mg/100g). The amount of nicotine from eggplant is negligible compared to passive smoking.

Reference: Wikipedia, Delicious Organics, Fresh1

Sunday, December 9, 2007

No.4: Courgette

Resembling long green oblongs, the courgette has more than meets the eye!

Courgette Fun Facts:
1) Courgette is the French word for zucchini.

2) Mild bitterness in zucchini is caused by compounds called cucurbitacins.

3) Zucchinis with the flowers attached are a sign of a truly fresh and immature fruit,
and are especially sought by many people.

4) With their high water content (more than
95 percent), zucchini squashes are very low
in calories.

5) Just remember, overcook zucchini and you end up with mush. There is no way to salvage it other than to make soup.

Reference: Wise Geek, Food Reference, Wikipedia, Hungry Monster

Monday, November 26, 2007

No.3 : Potato

Be it spuds or praties, a potato by any other name would taste just as sweet!

Potato Fun Facts:
1) Potatoes are 80% water and 20% solid.

2) The potato, from the American Indian word "Batata", was introduced to Europeans by Spanish conquerors during the late 16th Century.

3) When potatoes are stored in the refrigerator, the taste & texture are affected, its sugar content decreases.

4) In 1952, Mr. Potato Head was born, and was also the first toy to be advertised on television.

5) After potato plants flower, some varieties will produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes.

Reference: Tater Act, Wikipedia

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No.2: Broccoli

Sunday brings a new fresh greenie,
the broccoli!

Broccoli Fun Facts:
1) The word broccoli comes from Latin bracchium, meaning arm.

2) Broccoli leaf is also edible and contains far more betacarotene than the florets.

3) Don't discard the broccoli stalk! Peel the outside skin from the stalk and cook as you would the rest of the broccoli. Cut stalks into thin slices and stir-fry !

4)The best way to cook broccoli is to steam, cook in the microwave or stir-fry with a little broth or water.

5)Roman farmers called broccoli "the five green fingers of Jupiter."

Reference: Dole 5a day, Food Facts: Broccoli, Wikipedia, Produce Oasis, Vegetarian Baby

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No.1: Carrot

First up, The Veggie Patch serves
up the carrot!

Carrot Fun Facts:

1) Carrots were first cultivated in Afghanistan
in the 7th century, and they had yellow flesh
and purple skin.

2) There is as much calcium in 9 carrots as
there is in a glass (250ml) of whole milk.

3) A teaspoon holds almost 2000
carrot seeds.

4) Baby carrots aren't exactly young
carrots, they're actually carrots that
have been peeled and cut into
uniform cylinders.

5) If cows eat too many carrots, their
milk tastes bitter.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We're Sprouting!

Give us a little time, we be springing like spongy mushrooms after the rain!