Jamie Oliver

forum: Gardening / Growing

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#21 Sat 26 Jul 08 3:08pm


Occupation Translator and languages teacher
From Portugal
Member since Thu 24 Jul 08

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

Hello, Fan@Madeira

It was nice to find someone here from Portugal/Madeira. smile

The fruit that you call “araçal” is, actually, “araça” and it’s one type of a Brazilian guavo; there are all sorts of guavos, small, bigger, sweeter, bitter, white, red, different shapes, etc.; in Portuguese it’s known as “goiaba”. In Angola, they are big, red and very sweet. We also make jam from guavos, which is delicious together with cottage cheese and banana. Yummy, yummy…  yummy

“Pitanga”, or accordingly to the translation is, as you say, “Surinam Cherry”, a red and angular berry, bittersweet flavoured fruit.

“Chuchu”, known as “shaya-root, chay-root, chay, choy” is a very common Brazilian vegetal, which, as they say have, is very good to your health, for it has diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties.

“The chayote (Sechium edule), also known as tayota, choko, chocho, chow-chow, christophine or merliton, is an edible plant that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash.
The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. The vine is grown on the ground or more commonly on trellises. (…) Although most people are familiar only with the fruit, the root, stem, seeds, and leaves are all edible.

The fruit does not need to be peeled and can be eaten raw in salads. It can also be boiled, stuffed, mashed, baked, fried, or pickled. Both the fruit and the seed are rich in amino acids and vitamin C.

The tuberous part of the root is starchy and is both eaten by humans and used as cattle fodder.

The leaves and fruit have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties, and a tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and hypertension, and to dissolve kidney stones.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chayote).

Anyway, you all can read more about these fruits and vegetables in the links bellow.

http://images.google.com.br/images?gbv= … 3%A7%C3%A1


http://images.google.com.br/images?hl=p … &gbv=2

http://www.papayatreenursery.com/galler … itemId=608

Best regards to you all  smile


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#22 Sat 26 Jul 08 4:35pm


Member since Sun 04 May 08

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

I don't think we eat this Cardoon in The Netherlands. Never seen it, but I love that picture with the beautiful blue flowers!  thumbsup

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#23 Sat 26 Jul 08 5:19pm


Occupation Tech Writer
From Germany (but a native NYer)
Member since Thu 15 Jul 04

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

My family is Sicilian so cardoon was famous on holidays and special occasions. My mom always made them for Christmas (and we would fight over them as they came out of the pan). Poor mom, all her hard work and we snatched them out of the plate faster than she could cook them!

Recipe, photo, and post here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/bloggers/vie … p?id=33165

from my family to yours ... enjoy!

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#24 Sat 26 Jul 08 8:45pm


Member since Sat 26 Jul 08

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

Hi Jamie,

       I just came on board this morning and was surprised to see Cardoons as a vegetable you are growing in your garden.

       You're right, the recipes are for this wonderful "vegetable" are very old.  I am 60 years old and I remember  going out into the woods with my Grandpa Corso to find them growing wild.  My grandparents were from Sicily, Italy and came to the United States to relocate to Ozone Park, New York and summer in the Catskill Mountains.  When the grandchildren would visit them in the mountains we would help to gather and prepare the food.  Most of it was found in the woods.  My grandpa Joe would hunt early in the morning, bringing back to my grandma Mary all types of game, from deer, to rabbit, squirrel, rattlesnake and any type of bird you can think of.  Whatever he brought home was what we had for dinner.  In the afternoon grandpa would take us into the woods to collect the "Cardoonas" as he would call them.  He knew just where they were growing wild.  He would cut them close to the ground and my sister Toni and I would carry them with both arms held out as they grew to at least 18" long.  When we got back home we would help Grandma prepare them and cook them.  After washing all the dirt off the cardoonas Grandma would cut both the stalks and leaves into 3" strips.  She would then soak them in salted water until "all the poison came out" changing the water at least three times before it was clear.  I realized as I got older the "poison" meant the bitter taste you would have if you didn't soak them.  We would help her flour, egg, and put them in her special mix of fresh herbs and "little Italy" breadcrumbs.  Then she would fry them in her big cast iron frying pan with only the best olive oil.  You have never tasted any thing so delicious in your life!!  All that from what most people considered a weed.  My grandparents certainly knew how to live off the land and taught us the love of cooking.  I'm so glad you are growing Cardoonas and hope you try this wonderful recipe.

Love, Jeri

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#25 Sat 26 Jul 08 11:02pm

eva andrea

Member since Sat 26 Jul 08

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

hi everyone

here in denmark we use redcurrents and gooseberrys in summer desserts. It is not very modern these days but it is delicious.(if you look it up in a cookbook that is about 40 years old, you can find a lot of lovely recipes!!!) You can make the greatest ice cream of gooseberrys. I made it, for my friends and they loved it!!
Or you can use redcurrents in a stewed fruit and mix it with rhubarbs. It has a fantatisc red colur, it is delicious and it is so easy to make!!! Serve it hot with some ice cream on the top. Just great!!!!!

by the way gooseberrys is also great just to eat alone...

Eva andrea big_smile

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#26 Sun 27 Jul 08 6:00am


Forum champ
Occupation Retired nurse-midwife
From High Point, North Carolina
Member since Tue 17 Jun 08

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

Yes, I have cooked some interesting veg in my time...mostly no one ate them, especially the cardoons.  At the time, I didn't know that you had to blanch them before preparation and they were very bitter.  Now i think if I could find them I would do a better job.  I lived in Buffalo, NY then and had better access to things.  If I were to prepare them today,  I would blanch them, then dip in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs,  fry them in olive oil, then top with tomato sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbly and browned.  Definitely a labor intensive vegetable.

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#27 Sun 27 Jul 08 12:09pm


Member since Sun 27 Jul 08

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

Never tried cardoon although it sounds like something i'd love, I'm a massive fan of salsify. My grandparents use them a lot in the south of france and i cannot get enough of them!
They have a sort of creamy/artichokey taste and you can buy them fresh or tinned, i know a butchers in clapham called moen & sons sells them fresh.
Best way to eat them as far as i'm concerned is with the juice/gravy from pan fried duck fillet with cooked peach halves in the same juice, awesome!

Last edited by emmahair (Sun 27 Jul 08 12:09pm)

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#28 Sun 27 Jul 08 2:53pm


Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

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

Have grown Cardoons for 40 years! Inherited the first few plants in my then new & very overgrown Victorian garden, & collected seed ever since. I grow them as a "divider" between my fruit & veg gardens, & replace the plants every 3rd year. The first year they get going, the next they grow to astonishing heights, the 3rd year tall but less impressive. I use the "chokes" but also cook the very young leaves/stalks when they are less tough & bitter. Served in a cream enriched sauce also makes them more palatable to those unused to them.

Since then I have actively sought out old Victorian varieties (the RHS, various specialist seed suppliers & my local allotment society have been very useful sources) of every kind of seed you can think of...........some have very wonderful, old-fashioned names!

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#29 Sun 27 Jul 08 2:56pm


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

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

minerva:  a friend had one here, just wondering, do you know how winter-hardy are the cardoons?  I assumed he was growing it as an ornamental annual and that it wouldn't survive our winters (average lowest temp is around 15 F, but it can sometimes get colder).

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#30 Mon 28 Jul 08 1:22am

Jane W

Member since Mon 28 Jul 08

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

Hi Jamie,
I have GROWN cardoon as an ornamental plant in my previous garden, but have never used it as a veg.  I will have to get a plant and give it a go again.
A word of warning - DO NOT let any of the lovely cardoon flowers go to seed - you will have millions of baby plants - far more than you will have gardening friends to palm them off to!

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