Jamie Oliver

forum: Gardening / Growing

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#11 Fri 25 Jul 08 6:12pm


Occupation Personal trainer/ fitness instructor
From Northern Virginia
Member since Tue 22 Jul 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

My grandfather loved cardoons.

They were also apparently popular here in the states in George Washington's time.  There is a garden at Mount Vernon that supposedly grows the veggies that were on the plantation in that era. There are always cardoons. They serve them in the restaurant sometimes; scalloped like you might do oysters. Lots of cream and breadcrumbs on top. They were sometimes called poor mans oysters.

Last edited by jt4 (Fri 25 Jul 08 6:14pm)

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#12 Fri 25 Jul 08 8:58pm


From russia
Member since Tue 03 Jun 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

1) I don't know what is cardoon, but may be this is the same?? http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&a … rch+Images
tell me, plz, if it is the same (i cant translate the word 'cardoon' into my language/ I'm not sure that it is same from my link).

2) i haven't seen here anyone use Nettle  for food.
In my country it is popular put into the 'Borscht'. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borscht ). It is common, really.
Also i know some people add nettle into the pesto and polenta.

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#13 Fri 25 Jul 08 9:14pm


Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

assmark: I've been enjoying your recent blog photos!

Here is a photo of the plant.  I've seen cardoon plants used as ornamental plants in flower gardens in France, the leaves are showy, spikey and silver.


The stalk is eaten.  It looks like a large celery stalk.  I've seen recipes for it in Italian cookbooks and haven't tried it, supposedely it tastes a little like lemon and artichoke.

I love Russian borscht!  If you have a recipe and the time, please share one!  I had no idea nettles were used in it.

Last edited by MsPablo (Fri 25 Jul 08 9:51pm)

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#14 Fri 25 Jul 08 10:24pm


Occupation Jornalism
From Brasília - Brazil
Member since Wed 25 Jun 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

The Flower of the Thistle/Cardoon is born spontaneously in Portugal and other Mediterranean zones as well as in the north of Africa and Argentina. June, July and August are the only months where it is in flower and therefore capable to be used for the coagulation of milk.

The cheese production becomes all during the year, therefore the cheese makers have to store the thistle that goes losing quality with passing of the time. To another option he is to buy the plant the prices very raised. Traditionally, flower to the shade is dried to it and is produced later a watery trade bill that if adds to milk.

The part of the responsible plant for the coagulation is the flower, of tubular form and purple color, that great concentration of the coagulant substance contains the enzyme cinarase. The infusion of thistle/cardoon flower, previously prepared, is launched in warm milk (35 - 40º C).

For use of the thistle a salt infusion is made (20 the 35 g/liter of milk) and the flower of the thistle/cardoon dehydrated (lilac part of the plant) in the amount that can vary in function of the force or coagulation power of the plant, on average 1 the 2,5 g for liter of milk. The temperature for addition of the infusion is of 28 - 30ºC and must be kept while the coagulation of milk occurs. One known type of cheese produced with the flower of the thistle is the cheese of the Mountain range (Portugal).

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#15 Fri 25 Jul 08 10:55pm


Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Every few years they suddenly "remember" an old veggie:

pumpkin/sqash (when halloween became popular in the late 90s and when the hokkaido variety came on the market)

wild garlic (Bärlauch) (the market was so flooded with that....)

ruccola: now that it has a cool Italian name people eat it a lot, while the good old "Rauke" has been mostly forgotten.

This is just to give an idea of some of the retro-food crazes of the last 10 years.

Slowly but surely all kinds of root vegetables are coming back: swede was first, now parsnips, turnips, teltower rübchen, jerusalem artichokes, red beets (fresh, leaves still attached)...
(In Germany especially swede was very unpopular with the older generations, as there was the "Steckrübenwinter" of 1917 (?) when food supplies where down because of the war, and then there were similar winters in the second war, when the options were swede or "Schlodderkapps" (Kappes = slang for cabbage, schlodder = slang for something as textureless and flavorless as it sounds). Left a trauma on 2  1/2 generations.... wink

Cabbages too: in the old times usually cooked to death (resulting in said "Schlodderkapps"). Somewhat unpopular with the yuppie generation. Now coming back with newer fresher cooking methods. (Turns out I do like cabbage a lot after all if my Mom is not the one cooking it whistle)

celeriac. It's used in Germany for soups and stews instead of celery (which is a novelty here). As a vegetable it has been neglected.

Any varieties of very common veggies have been mostly forgotten and some are now coming back: purple potatoes, odd shaped and yellow tomatoes, greengages, all kinds of salad greens (that don't grow a big head), fresh spinach (my mom had fresh spinach for the first time in her life on her 59th birthday - only knew canned or frozen spinach till then....)

Others seem to get less and less common: apricots (increasingly difficult to get other than dry or canned), goose berries, etc.

Blackberries are more and more treated a weed - and a weed only by many people. I admit they easily become weeds, but my Granddad kept a neat hedge of them and I could die for them. Dandelion, sorrel, and stinging nettles are almost forgotten foods. - Anything that grows wild has mostly left the meal plans of the post WWII generations. Hope that more of them will be rediscovered.

Even more "forgotten" fruits and veggies are typical garden fruits that you can hardly buy, and could hardly buy ever: blackcurrants, whitecurrants, yellow cherries, mirabelle plums, ....

Luckily the organic food movements have started to bring some veggies back. Especially regional foods that big supermarkets did not stock. But even they are starting to have rosehip jam. Sea-buckthorn (?) / "Sanddorn" juice. More and more elderberry or even elderflower products - juice, cordial etc. Expecting them to sell sloe stuff soon...

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#16 Fri 25 Jul 08 11:53pm


Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

I don't know if this is an old berrie or a new crossbreed but i just purchased a pint of Josta's at the farmers market... It is like a cross between a gooseberry and a black currant.. I am currant}Ly  tongue  trying to figure out something to make with them.. very very tart and almost has a wild sour grape taste .  yummy maybe a pie or some preserves.  big_smile I was considering also adapting Eddies sour cherry cordial recipe  and doing a josta cordial version as well .  yummy

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#17 Sat 26 Jul 08 4:30am


Occupation Middle School Teacher
From Toronto, Canada
Member since Sat 23 Feb 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Fan@Madeira wrote:

Hi Jamie/Everyone,
This is my first message since I registered and I am still trying to get the hang of how this works... please bear with me.
On the matter of forgotten vegetable and fruits, there are a few here in Madeira...maybe not forgotten, but certainly strange to other parts of Europe.
We have a fruit called "pitanga" - I believe the correct translation would be suriname cherry. It grows in Brazil and here. Has an acid taste and is absolutely amazing as a dessert topping/coulis or used to make a chilled pudding. If anyone is interested in a recipe...if of course you can get the fruit, I'd be happy to oblige...
We also have another strange fruit called "araçal". I'm not even sure of the Portuguese spelling (I could not find the word in the dictionary) and can terefore not give a translation. It is larger than the "pitanga", more of a yellow colour and sweeter.
Another fruit largely eaten here around this time of year comes from a cactus and is called "tabaibos". Hard to peel without getting a prickle caught in your finger...
As for veg, here we grow and eat a lot of "pimpinela" or chu chu.

Hey, my in-laws tried to grow an "aracal" tree here in Canada, needless to say it did not do well...there are aracais (is that the plural??) in the Azores too.. cool

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#18 Sat 26 Jul 08 11:44am


Occupation soap maker
From Nova Scotia, Canada
Member since Mon 31 Dec 07

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Well you might be amazed but around here the broad bean is a forgotten veg, or almost forgotten anyway. I had never eaten them and I can't recall seeing them in the supermarkets. After watching the episode on beans and especially the "Incredible Smashed Peas and Fava Beans on Toast" I had to grow some. I understand now why they have fallen from favour. I had more pest issues with them than any other plant I have ever grown BUT I did make the Peas and Beans on Toast last evening for a light meal, it was fabulous. I can't wait to try more recipes with them now. I am enjoying the flavour and I will grow them again. Now out to wash the plants again...

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#19 Sat 26 Jul 08 12:24pm


Forum champ
Member since Wed 23 Jul 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

marciacrg wrote:

One known type of cheese produced with the flower of the thistle is the cheese of the Mountain range (Portugal).

that's fascinating Marcia - I'm going to look for cardoon-cheese next time I visit Portugal! - thanks

SusanneH wrote:

Sea-buckthorn (?) / "Sanddorn" juice....

Susanne - it's called Sanddorn in Germany? We got "Tyrni-mehu" in Finland that's supposed to be from sea-buckthorn berries (Tyrni). It's supposed to have great medicinal qualities and the most vitamin C of any fruit or berry. We've often looked for it elsewhere, now we know what to look for in Germany- thanks! (by the way it's also the sourest juice on the planet - must be mixed with water and maybe sugar to be palatable, a fact I discovered only after drinking it straight from the bottle!puke  lol


Last edited by mrpab (Sat 26 Jul 08 12:36pm)

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#20 Sat 26 Jul 08 1:56pm


Occupation Semi-retired antique dealer/now farmer and cheese maker
From Northern Victoria,Australia
Member since Thu 12 Apr 07

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

I pick and cook stinging nettles and dandelion leaves are often in our salads .I'm growing a tuber called Oca at the moment  ,an ancient South American potato-like plant .And cardoons are seen in a lot of gardens here but are considered a pest because of the tremendous seed production .I've cooked the stalks and prepared the choke like artichoke but fiddlier .

What about meat ? Anyone still eating hares  ?? -,bloody pest around here  eating my newly planted trees .  And I've got some recipes for sparrows done like quail  , and a blackbird pie  , and grilled larks  , and a pate made of thrush and pigeon which is a cypriot recipe  .

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