I am always really delighted to see produce that comes in colors other than what is typically thought of when thinking of said produce. The first one that comes to mind is my sheer delight in coming across a whole bag of Peruvian potatoes a couple years ago. I made them into mashed potatoes and I tell you, they were the prettiest, starchiest, most lovely violet mashed potatoes that I have ever made. Imagine my delight in finding out that there is a purple sweet potato that comes from Okinawa, and another type that was lab-engineered to fight cancer! It may just be the same potato, I’m not quite sure. I guess they’re hard to find in the US unless you’re in Hawaii or California. I’d love to find these somewhere!
Carrots in colors other than orange are something I’ve known about for a while (and bought and used in cooking). There’s no change in the flavor, but they’re very pretty. I’d bought red carrots at the grocery store, and I’d bought a package of multicolored baby carrots at H-Mart last fall. Melissa’s has maroon carrots; sometimes you can buy bulk produce from their website, sometimes you can’t. Melissa’s is an excellent source of fun-colored veggies, actually. I’m considering ordering some stuff from the website right now, specifically a big ole’ box of baby vegetables (artichokes, beets, variety radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, squashes, leeks and carrots). If there’s one thing that delights me just as much as color-variant produce, it’s tiny little baby produce! Cherry tomatoes, champagne grapes, baby zucchini, baby corn… so cute! So tiny!
Cauliflower was one of the favorite vegetables of the unfortunate Atkins diet trend of the last decade. Cauliflower is super-delicious, though, and very versatile (my favorite method of preparation is roasting, as you can find on this very blog via my recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup). It, too, comes in fun color variants like purple and orange! I’ve seen/bought the orange cauliflower many moons ago, but I’ve definitely never seen the purple. I want to gather up all of these dang purple veggies/fruits and make something that makes use of all of them at once. Even to just have these out as crudites at your summer barbecue, how much fun is that? Maybe you could even convince kids who are all bratty about eating veggies to eat their veggies if they’re presented as being fun and cute as well as full of virtue and health-benefit. I want to see more of these at the grocery store!
Since yesterday afternoon, I have become aware of:
- Purple jalapenos
- A bunch of different varieties of lemon, including one with a striped skin
- Purple asparagus
- Purple artichokes
- Black radish
- Red corn
- Torpedo onions
I would like to try and find these things, but I especially think I want to try that Okinawan sweet potato!