Organic agriculture and biodiversity have in recent years brought about a rediscovery of many “forgotten” vegetables that people especially in Europe and France conscientiously tried to forget as they reminded them of the privations suffered during WWII. The same people had then to make do with untraditional vegetables because potatoes, carrots and so on were confiscated by occupying forces or their own armies.
With sustainibility and bioagriculture made more important by the deficiencies of modern mass agriculture, those “forgotten” vegetables have suddenly come to the fore for the pleasure of all, and that of course of vegetarians and vegans!
This particular series of postings will introduce these vegetables one by one. I hope they will become useful for a long time to come to all my vegan and vegetarian friends!
1) Scorsonere/Oyster Plant
10) Cerfeuil Tubereux
The Capucine tubereuse (French), Maschua (Inca) or Tropaeolum tuberosum (Latin) is a very old tuber originally grown on the high plateaux of Peru and around Titicaca Lake.
2m high, it is mainly used for its flowers as a decorative plant.
It blooms from July to Autumn. The seeds are formed at the same time.
It was already grown and eaten by the pre-Incas 5.500 years BC.
It gives out fairly good yields.
Maschua has recently become popular in France and Belgium for its tubers.
They can be eaten like potatoes.
Its peppery taste (it contains mustard oils) is not always appreciated.
This peppery taste disappears upon freezing or long boiling.
The taste is best when the tubers are harvested after the first frosts.
In Bolivia and Peru the tubers are also eaten with molasses and frozen as a dessert.
The young leaves can be eaten as a green vegetable, either raw or cooked.
The flowers can be eaten raw and have a sweet taste ending up on a peppery note.