Oh do I have a veggie candy for you that is not only out of this world but out of space.
There are some things that I cannot understand about America. I won’t get personal and inquire into the stardom of certain Jennifer or two Justins, nor ask questions such as how could anyone have elected him.
I’m thinking of kale and how it got to become a laughing-stock, a hipster icon, a symbol of division. Depends on who you ask.
It’s such a damn fine vegetable and good for everybody. Have you ever had Kohl zu Speis? I’m not even sure that it’s the name of a dish in any German-speaking country, but for some historic reasons this is how my Slovenian grandmother called her kale with potatoes.
I loved it so much that one day, after she just made some, when she asked me what I wanted for lunch the next day, I said “The same thing again”.
And that’s what she made.
I was but little then and haven’t discovered yet what would become my new favourite vegetable. It took a man who claimed to be half Italian with father from the Croatian island Krk to introduce it to me, together with many fish and sea food dishes.
I learned how to prepare it: cook it together with potatoes and season with salt, garlic and olive oil, nothing fancy. I learned how to peel away the sometimes stringy parts and cut the stem horizontally to make it boil faster.
I soon discovered there was a little problem. I didn’t know the English word for it. When I was discussing vegetables with my Slovenian friend’s Scottish husband without her near, and I reached the point where I wanted to share my favourite veggie, I was stuck. I described, I gestured, I made yummy noises, and then he said: “Oh! You mean blitva! We have our garden full of it!”
Yes, she taught him the Slovenian word for it. Well played, Darja.
I think that later when I told her about it she introduced it to me as Swiss chard. I believe it’s also called mangold. (Right now I discovered that it has a rather undignified Latin name: Beta vulgaris. It must be because kale is Alpha. :D)
Since I’m not a well-travelled girl, worldwide speaking, I have only known one variety – the green and white one from the Adriatic region. Until now.
What you see below might have nothing to do with Switzerland any more but it’s what I encountered here in a Tuscan supermarket, and it was the best spent 1 Euro that I can imagine, from purely aesthetic reasons alone. And the taste was practically identical to what I know and love too.
It might be quite normal where you are at, but for me it’s out of this world, galaxy and space. (Here is an Out of Space song that might remind you of all kinds of things, depends on what you did in the 90’s.)
The best company for it are the squid from the oven with potatoes and what Slovenians call Triestine sauce (see the caption to the green glassful photo), so this is what I made. Buon appetito!
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Out of This World