viernes, 6 de noviembre de 2009

Minding my Qs

It's not a yam, it's not a sweet potato, it's....

What? ( pronounce it as KAY-KEYS-KAY)
Well, that's the local name for this world-popular tuber, more commonly known as malanga, cousin to taro. Despite its rather unattractive outer skin (they resemble burnt chicken legs, no?), quequisque reveals a tender white flesh when peeled.
I hear that this hardy root crop is cooked up in every way imaginable in cuisines around the globe; in Nicaragua is it mostly commonly incorporated into soups and stews. The flavor is, hmm how to describe it...... bland? Much like a potato. but with a stickier texture, lending a thickening quality to said soups.

Personally I admire quequisque in the garden.
This beautiful plant could easily pass for an ornamental!

Once I learned to identify the bright green flaps of quesquisque, I started recognizing its "elephant ears" along roadsides, bordering fences, amongst coffee farms, and in urban patios. The locals already have it figured out! Plant one of these hairy monster eggs in the backyard, and enjoy its splendid green foliage until harvesting its bounty. Is there anything cooler than an attractive edible??Folks around here do not seem practiced in eating the leaves; however, in other lands they provide a nutrient-dense source of roughage. But be warned! The leaves are known to contain needle-like calcium oxalate crystals which irritate the mouth and throat. This irritation is avoided by boiling the leaves for an undetermined period of time before consuming. maybe i'll try them, no rush. I am told it could be up to six months before the tubers are ready to harvest. Let's reconvene in febrero.

On to another Q in my garden, also an eye-catching edible:
Can you guess?
Even if you are as big a fan of this South American GRAIN, as I am, odds are you are not familiar with the plant. Or maybe you've never heard of it: Quinoa! (pronounced KEEN-WA)

Quinoa is a tiny seed championed for its incredibly complete protein content. For vegetarians, quinoa provides all the goods that typically require a legume + grain formula for plant-based proteins. It cooks up into a fluffy, nutty dish that is delicious at breakfast with milk and fruit as well as a compliment to a stir-fry, as a substitute for rice.
I look forward to the day when I shall harvest, eat, (and display online) my Qs. Until then, I will work on keeping both my Ps and Qs in order.

2 comentarios:

Live Simply Love Strongly dijo...

I LOVE quinoa! Protein packed and delish! Good luck.

Dan R-M dijo...

So how do you wash YOUR quinoa?