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Re: [aroid-l] Aroid Cook Book

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Aroid Cook Book
  • From: "Steve Ritchey" <sritchey@shreve.net>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Aug 2004 11:50:17 -0500

Thanks for the full lowdown Julius-

Malabar spinach is Basella rubra, a large tropical vine with spinach- like leaves- guessing by the common name, it must be from India.  It will tolerate heavy soils and occaisional flooding better than Amaranth. You just cut the young terminals for greens and let it keep growing til frost. I use the Basella with readilly available Gulf stone crabs; will have to try the plaintain balls & dasheen that grows like a weed in my drainage ditches. Turnip & mustard are the two most common greens grown here, but they become so bitter when grown in hot weather that people  drench them with the same red pepper sauce prescribed for the unlucky woodchuck.

Xanthosomas are sold as malangas in supermarkets here, too, but as far as I know, they're always used as ornamental foundation plants. I've never known anyone to cook and eat them.  This is rice country.

Interesting comments from Dr. Goncalves- Okra is a summer staple here, but when people say Gumbo they mean our ultimate comfort food, Louisiana style boullabaise highly seasoned with filet gumbo ( powdered sassafrass root) - it never has any okra in it.  On the other hand, the local farmers refer to our sticky clay soil as 'gumbo'.


Enjoy your Sunday

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Julius Boos 
  To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu 
  Sent: Friday, August 06, 2004 6:59 PM
  Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Aroid Cook Book

  >From: "Steve Ritchey" <sritchey@shreve.net> 
  >Reply-To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu 
  >To: <aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu> 
  >Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Aroid Cook Book 
  >Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 10:48:50 -0500 
  Dear Steve and Friends,

  Ah, a breath of fresh air, someone who knows the word 'calaloo' and the fact that the word is used for several plant species!    OK, here we go---the word 'calaloo' as best we can trace it, originates as an Amerindian word from Brazil meaning 'a leafy veggie', Dr. Goncalves informed me it is probably  used for an amaranth sp., probably the same species of amaranth sold as 'Jamaican spinach' here in S. Florida (what is your 'malabar spinach', Steve, maybe this????) and called 'pig weed' in Cen Florida, this plant is called 'chori badghi' in Trinidad, 'badghi' being a word from India/Pakistan that seems to mean 'spinach', there are MANY different types of 'badghis' on Trinidad, W.I.   The Jamaicans make THEIR 'calaloo' using this self-same amaranth, the Haitians use the word 'calaloo' for okras, but on TRINIDAD, calaloo is made by cooking the young, unfurled leaves of 'dasheen', a var. of Colocasia esculenta, cooked w/ seasonings, chopped ! okra, cleaned land crabs (since these were not available, I substituted bits of shrimp), and a balls of  mushed then cooked plantains!   Trinidadian calaloo can be made w/ other vars. of taro leaves, but I recomend REALLY cooking them for a long time, as I do not know what the 'itch factor' may be on some of the other vars. of taro BESIDES the T`dadian 'dasheen' which seems to have a low 'itch factor'.   Dr. Goncalves told me that In Brazil they cut the whole 'top' off Xanthosoma sp. plants and make a wonderful dish with it, we do NOT eat Xanthosoma (our 'tannia') leaves in Trinidad.  By the way, Americans I`ve 'turned on' to 'Jamaican spinach' bought here in WPB, Florida, tell me it is FANTANTIC, they prefered it to their mustard and collared and turnip greens they were accostomed to.

  Since there seems to be some sort of recent interest in EATING aroids, maybe  our newsletter might be interested in pulling up some back-issues of the IAS newsletters and re-publishing some of the recipies that I wrote on cooking aroids??  They were published back several years ago. 

   Aroids are becomming more and more available as food items in 'regular' grocery stores, at least in Florida!   I am presently growing the 'yellow'-fleshed malanga/yautia/Xanthosoma sp., what a beautiful species, I hope to flower it as its leaves look SO different to the plants that grow from the several vars. of grocery-bought white-fleshed 'malangas'/Xanthosomas.

  Elizabeth, I understand ther is a recently opened Trinidadian resturant in Ft Laud. ( ? ) that MAYBE serves a very few of the dishes, it is said to be expensive and I have NOT tried it as yet, my nephew keeps threatening to take me there! 


  Good Growing AND eating!


  >Um? Does this mean I should be making calaloo with shredded taro leaves?, or 

  >something other than Malabar spinach? If so, is there a preferred variety 
  >for calaloo? Thanks 
  >----- Original Message ----- 
  >From: <elizabeth@begoniac.com> 
  >To: <aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu> 
  >Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 4:55 PM 
  >Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Aroid Cook Book 
  > > On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 10:05:09 +0000, "Julius Boos" wrote: 
  > > 
  > > Your reference to 'smelly veggies' I find puzzling, ask any IAS member 
  > > about the aroids that have been prepared and served to our members at 
  > > several functions in Miami and here in WPB. 
  > > 
  > > 
  > > Ask me!  Julius did a program on edible aroids for the Begonia Society 
  > > year, and I'm still dreaming about the delicious food he prepared for us. 
  > > Julius, is there a restaurant that serves those dishes prepared as well as 
  > > yours?  I've got a serious jones for calaloo!  Oh, and the chubas with 
  > > chicken over rice.  Mmmmmm! 
  > > 
  > > Elizabeth 

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