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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Cosie's Corner & Feed Bag (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: Root Vegtables 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Delmonico
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« on: May 21, 2016, 06:40:02 pm »


Roots are the plant structure that is beneath the soil, the roots serve several purposes, one is to hold the plant in place, it also provides the rest of the plant with water and nutrients from the soil, and this keeps the plant alive.  Also roots store food for the plant, in some plants the root is tender and flavored so humans can and will eat them, these are the plants we call root vegetables.  These root structures fall into three types, the tap root like the carrot, the bulb such as onions and the tuber such as potatoes.

To define these three types in simple terms is as follows: Tubers are a part of the root system that the plant developed specifically to store food, unlike the tap root types in which is the main root of the plant that holds in the ground or bulbs which is a storage unit for the plant when dormant, a bulb is an underground stem that stores food and the roots are attached to it, although botanically the tubers and bulbs are not roots, they are classified as root vegetables because the part we eat grows underground.  

These root structures are designed by nature to store food for the plant over winter; most that use the tap root are biennials, the plant stores food in the root to keep it alive during the winter and the plant then sprouts in the spring, producing a flower and seeds, our common bulb vegetable, onions, being the same, although some of the other varieties of onions we will discuss are perennials.  Plants with tubers are mostly annuals and the tubers are used to sprout a new crop in the spring they also flower to produce seeds as well.    

Their ability to store fresh, hydrated food over winter is what has made them such a valuable crop over the ages, they contain Vitamin C, which in the past the human diet often lacked in the winter, causing a Vitamin C deficiency disease known as scurvy, the stored root vegetables helped prevent this over winter.    

Root crops are traditionally stored in underground cellars after harvest, the cooler temperatures in these keep the crop fresh for fairly long periods of time and the warmth keeps them from freezing.  This ability to store well in the simple dug root cellars of the time, as well as ease of growing and harvest by hand also made them popular to use in winter as livestock feed as well as human food. Today modern cold storage keeps them just above freezing and allows an even longer time of freshness.  In former times by the time spring and planting season came along the stored root crops were past prime, today better storage and low cost shipping allow use to both keep these items fresher longer as well being able to be shipped  in from regions with different climates.

Today we have three very popular root vegetables; one of each type that are very popular; carrots, potatoes and onions, with a fourth, garlic used a lot, but garlic in most cases is considered flavoring for other foods rather than a vegetable in itís own right, there are exceptions though, the average person seldom sees any other types than these three (or four if you count garlic) and I would guess there are many in this country who have never eaten any other type.  In the 19th Century we had a larger variety of root vegetables in common, everyday use than we see today, there are several reasons for this, mostly based on better storage methods, better and cheaper transportation and improved farming methods, and most important, the ability of these three main types to grow over a large part of the country as well as being easily adapted to modern large farming operations.  


This is a list, to the best of my ability to cover all the ones a person in the 19th century might encounter and an estimate of when they would be in season although we know some of them keep well in root cellars.  The season is just a generalization, in extreme southern areas the season can be a little earlier and in the far north pat of the country as well as Canada the season my be later.

I am covering them by family in alphabetic order to keep the closely related types together, and then covering them by common name in the family.   Today of course, our modern cultivars we find in the stores are most often not exactly the same types; our modern types have been improved for better yield, often larger size and for many, have been developed so the whole field, planted at the same time is ready at the same time.   The seed for some of the older cultivars can be obtained by people who specialize is growing and saving the seed for these older types, there are many businesses that have these seeds and once again the internet is a good source.   To grow these types one must have the land, the time and the knowledge to do this, most will have to use what the modern commercial sources provide, in reality few but us hard core food historians will know the difference.


Amaranth Family/  Amaranthaceae

Beet: Beta vulgris

Our common table beet is descended from the wild sea beet which grows through out the coastal regions of Europe, northern Africa and southern Asia.  Beets are grown and eaten for both the tap root and the tops which are used for greens.  In the United States, when we refer to beets we mean the root, in other parts of the world they use the term beet root.

Beet root has been used for centuries as a dye and food coloring; even today it is used as a food coloring.  Beets are best cooked with the small tap root, the skins and part of the tops left on to keep them from bleeding.   In other words, cut most but not all the top off and cook them like that.  Today there are yellow and white varieties that do not bleed, but these are absent from references Iíve seen except for the sugar beet and the mangle-wurtzel (a large type used as stock feed although eatable by humans).   Beets are eaten as pickles or are cooked and either eaten on there own or often mixed in other foods to give them color as much as taste.  Sliced and buttered is a common way they are eaten on there own and in combination with potatoes and often  meat, the wonderful dish, red flannel hash seldom seen today outside of reenactment camps.

The season for beets starts about the first of June and carries into the fall, depending on the area of the country.  Beets do not store as well as many of the other root crops.

Lily Family/ Amaryllidaceae

The pungent plants used as rood crops we call onions are several species in the genus Allium, the vast majority being cultivars of the species Allium cepa.  Before I cover these different types of onions, I want to mention a term that is often used but not always well understood, that is the term ďscallionĒ or green onion; this is not a type or species of onion, but rather the young leaves and sometimes the root of several different types of onions.

Bulb/Common Onion: Allium cepa

Bulb Onions:  Onion is a name that can be put on several species in the genus Allium , onions are biennials or in some cases even perennials.  When the term onion is used by itself it most often means the common onion or as itís also known the bulb onion

Bulb onions are grown from seed; they can be planted in the spring and allowed to mature during the summer and fall, then harvested and stored.   Onions can and were also started indoors while it is still cold and the young plants can then be transplanted when the ground warms up enough.  Also onion seed can be planted in the summer very thick, and then the small immature bulbs dug in the fall, stored in a cellar and then set out in the spring.  All three of these methods were used in the time period for both home gardens and larger commercial ďtruck gardens.Ē

Although there are many types of wild onions all over the world, our common onion has no known ancestor and most likely is a development of selective plant breeding, most likely from somewhere in the Middle East or Western Asia.  They were brought to North America by the early English settlers and may also have been brought by the Spanish.  

As its name implies this is the common large onion we get as bulbs that are most times about the size of a baseball and come in many varieties and three basic colors, yellow, white and red.   These are all of the same species but ate just different cultivators.   These can vary from sweet to fairly hot in the raw state, but they all sweeten up after cooking.   The red tend to be mild and are often used raw in salads for color, the yellow with a few exceptions, tend to be stronger in flavor but lower cost.  The whites tend to take on a nice golden color when sautťed, for most general cooking I buy the cheaper yellows.  

The exception to the yellow onions being the more pungent that the whites and yellows are several cultivators that are often grown in specific regions of the country that give specific results because of the type of soil in that region.  These often have the name of the region they were grown in, such as the Vidalia from Georgia and the Walla Walla from Washington State as well as others less well known.  These types are all developments of the 20th century, the pungency of onions is caused by sulfur compounds in the onions, the more of these, the more pungent the onion is, these also have to be grown in low sulfur soils to get the full affect.

The onions of this species are used for both scallions, as well as the more common mature bulbs.  The bulbs are allowed to mature, the tops to die down some and then they are harvested, allowed to dry some and put in storage, in the 19th Century and beyond home gardeners would tie the tops together and hang them from the rafters in the root cellar, late summer to fall are the times that the majority of the United States harvests bulb onions, the green onions are best in the spring a few weeks after planting because age and heat of summer tend to toughen them.  

Multiplier Onion/ Shallot: Allium cepa subspecies aggregatum

Another variant of the same species is multiplier onions these onions produce multiple bulbs in a clump similar to garlic.  These are a milder flavor and are often referred to as shallots, although shallot in the true sense refers to a specific group of cultivators of this type.  Today these are often thought of for gourmet foods, but in the time they were often just another type of onion grown for food.  

Chives: Allium schoenoprasum    

Chives are also a relative of the onion that is and was used, but it is used more as an herb than as a vegetable and will be covered under that heading at a later time.

Garlic: Allium sativum

Garlic is most often used to flavor foods rather than eaten on itís own as a vegetable, there are exceptions of course, but this is very true in 19th Century cooking in the United States so like chives will be covered at another time.  

Leeks: Allium ampeloprasum    

Leeks are another relative of the onion thatís use dates back to ancient times.  Leeks are not a true root vegetable, part that looks like a root or bulb is a leaf sheath that is most often covered with extra dirt to blanch it.  Leeks were most likely developed from some type of wild onion in the Mediterranean region and have been in use for thousands of years, it came to North American with both the French and the English settlers where it mostly seems to have been used as flavoring in soups and stews based on searching period recipes.

Leeks are cultivated by seed and there are two distinct types, a milder smaller form planted early in the spring and a larger more pungent type plated in the summer and harvested in the spring.  For those desiring to grow leeks the seed suppliers will specify which types is summer and which types is winter.  

Winter or Bunching Onions: Allium fistulosum &  Allium ◊proliferum

This are two very similar onions that are not well know today, but were very common in gardens in the past, due to the fact they are perennials that sprout and allow scallions to be harvested right after the ground thaws.   Today with shipped in, out of season produce this has lost its importance, but at the time it often helped cure scurvy which is a lack of vitamin C caused by the very lack of fresh vegetables, a big problem in a lot of areas in the 19th Century.  

The first of these two types Iím going to cover was often called the Welsh Onion or in modern times it is often called the Japanese Bunching Onion(Allium fistulosum), despite the names, this type of onion which came to the United States through Europe is thought to have itís origins in  Northwestern China.

This onion species does not form large bulbs underground, it does form clumps and these clumps can be separated to start new patches or it can be started from seed.  There are different cultivators of this species and they range from fairly small to fairly big sized, the larger types were the ones seen a lot in home gardens in the 19th Century.

The other species of onion that was often grown for scallions is often known as Egyptian onion, walking onion or top setting onion (Allium ◊proliferum).  Thought to have its origins somewhere in Asia, perhaps India, recent genetic testing has shown this is a cross between the common onion and the so called Welsh onion, it also made its way to gardens in America by way of the early settlers.

This onion is a bit unusual because it does not flower like most other types of onion to form seed, but instead form true bulbs on the tops of the stems.  These bulbs will fall to the ground and grow on there own, spreading the bed, or they can be picked and then planted where another bed is desired.  This type onion does form an underground bulb that is smaller than the common onion and is more pungent than most of the cultivators of that type onion.  

Both of these onions are best harvested for scallions by taking a knife and cutting them off below ground when they appear in the spring, this allows the root to send up more shoots and allows harvest till hot weather makes them hot and tough using the same plants in the bed.  The bulbs on top of the Egyptian onion can also be picked and used, although on the small side, they are about the right size for pickling and using in place of the true pearl onion (Alliumampeloprasum var. sectivum) another type onion species that is grown for pickling and other uses in cooking.  The true pearl onion is not grown to any extent in this country, because it takes two years to fully mature, the frozen or  pickled  so called pearl onions in stores are most often immature bulbs of the common onion that are planted in dense rows.   The true pearl onion is distinguished by having a single leaf attached to the bulb like garlic rather than multiples like most onions.  

The other type of onions often used in 19th century America were the wild types, like most of the other wild plants used for food, I am not going to cover them, but only domesticated crops.  There are many species of wild onions native to this country and to try and cover all of them as to region where found is better covered in books specifically to this subject.  


Mustard Family/ Brassica

Radish: Raphanus sativus

The radish is familiar to most any gardener because it is often the first vegetable planted in the spring and the first to harvest.  It is of the same family as turnips and mustard and has it origins in western Asia and southern Europe.   It was cultivated by the ancient Greeks and the Romans and moved into northern Europe via the Romans and to the United States by the early English settlers.  

Colors and shapes varied just like todayís modern cultivars, its quick germination and quick maturity made it an important vegetable because it helps fight scurvy after a long winter.  Most commonly planted by modern gardeners in the spring, these varieties are often called spring or summer radishes, other varieties are known as winter radishes and are planted in the fall and often harvested in early winter for storage in the root cellar.  The spring types can also be planted in the fall with great success but they do not keep as well in storage as the winter type.
  
Today most radishes consumed in the United States are eaten raw by themselves or in salads, but they are also sometimes steamed, or put in soups and pot roasts, today this is more common outside of the United States.  Cooking also allows the use of the tougher more pungent ones; this is caused by both the age of the root and hot dry weather.  

Rutabaga: Brassica napobrassica

Also called Yellow Turnips, Swedish Turnips or Swedes, this vegetable is a cross between the turnip and the wild cabbage.  The exact time and place this occurred is lost to history, but somewhere in Europe by the late Middle Ages.  The rutabaga likes cool weather and this made it a popular vegetable in the Scandinavian countries, hence the nickname Swedish Turnip.  

The rutabaga is not very popular in the United States, and to a point it is hard to tell if it ever was.  It is referenced in a few old cook books, sometimes as a Russian Turnip and well as a Turnip Rooted Cabbage, Yellow Turnip and may have also been just referenced as a turnip; its uses in this country have been and still are the same as the common turnip, in stews, roasts, boiled, steamed and mashed as well as raw.  As the name Yellow Turnip implies, this root vegetable is yellow in color and has a purple top.

The rutabaga does have an advantage over turnips; it does have a longer storage life, both if left in the ground after frost as well as in cellar storage, both turnips and rutabaga can produce two crops a year in most of this country, a spring crop and a fall crop, the warmer weather of summer tends to make the roots tough.

Turnip: Brassica raba subspecies raba

The root vegetable we call a turnip has it origins in most likely India and was often grown for the oil bearing seeds as well as itís edible root, it made itís way into southern Europe at least 2500 years ago and was an important crop through out Europe by the early Middle Ages.  From there it made its way to America with the early settlers.  

Turnips are generally white or white with a purple top, the purple top type being the most common.  Turnips are best when they are the size of a golf ball up to about the size of a baseball, after that they tend to get hot and woody texture unless the weather is very cool and wet.

Although still seen in produce sections of grocery stores and in home gardens, as a root vegetable often the tops are more known to many people as cooked greens.  In the 18th and 19th century turnips were a very popular vegetable.  It has some advantages for the type of farming done at the time for good reasons.  One is they are easy to plant, for large amounts the seeds can be broadcast on tilled soil and then covered with a harrow.    Like the rutabaga, in most areas of the country you can get two crops of the same plot of land.  These can be planted in the spring early and then harvested in a couple of months.  In midsummer they can be planted again for a harvest in the fall, or they can be planted before and after other short maturing crops.  

Morning Glory Family/ Convolulaceae

Sweet Potatoes: Ipomoea batatas

The sweet potato is another crop originating in the Western Hemisphere, specifically in Central America and North Eastern South America and it is in the morning glory family.  The sweet potato is sometimes called a yam; however the true yam is a very different plant in an entirely different genus, originating in Africa and Asia and is closer related to lilies than it is to the true sweet potato.  The true yam has never has had much popularity in the United States.

The true sweet potato like the true potato was first taken to Europe by the Spanish and it was brought into North America by the European settlers about the same time as the potato.  The sweet potato needs a warmer climate than the common potato which has always made it more popular in the southern United States than in the northern part, the sweet potato will not tolerate any frost and the growing season in the northern United States can be chancy at times with this crop, depending on ones exact location.  The sweet potato like the common potato is not grown from seeds and is cultivated is cultivated from rooted cuttings of stems and roots started from a sweet potato tuber.  

Sweet potatoes come in a range of color, both the sins and the flesh; they range from beige to purple with reds, oranges and yellows in between.   The lighter color ones as a rule of thumb tend to be drier and not as sweet and the darker colored ones.  Sweet potatoes can be used in any manner that the common potato can be used as well as that southern classic, Sweet Potato Pie, which for all practical purposes is simply a pumpkin pie made with sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin.  

Harvest is in late summer to fall depending on the area and a crop that keeps well after harvest in a cool storage such as our cellar. Sweet potatoes actually mature and get sweeter after harvest, being at their prime 6 to 8 weeks after harvest.  




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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 06:40:35 pm »

Part 2


Nightshade Family: Solanaceae

Potatoes: Solanum tuberosum

Potatoes are member of the Nightshade family and are related to tomatoes and peppers as well as several other vegetables, this is the only member of the family that the root (tuber) is used for food.   Potatoes are the most used vegetable in the United States today, the popularity of fast food in the form of French Fries and snack food in the form of potato chips has made it so.   Potatoes contain a lot of starch and are sometimes used in place of flour in baking breads and other similar foods.  
The potato is often also called the Irish potato or the common potato to distinguish it from the sweet potato.   Potatoes have there origins in the mountainous northwest region of South America specifically what is now Peru and Ecuador.  The Spanish took them to Europe where they became a main crop in the British Isles and Central Europe because they grew well in the cooler climate, plus they produced a lot of nutrition for the space used as well as storing well through the winter.  Iím sure most of my readers are familiar with how a blight almost destroyed the Irish potato crop in the 1840ís and 1850ís causing a mass migration to the United States because of famine.  

The potato reached North American in the early 17th Century with settlers from Europe and was a popular crop for the same reasons it was grown in Europe and South America.  The potato did not become the most popular vegetable on a massive scale till very late in the 19th Century because of a couple peculiarities in the plant itself compared to most other root crops.    Although the plant flowers and produces a small fruit, the seeds of this fruit are not what is planted, the tubers themselves are cut up and planted, the potato has little indentations in it that are called eyes, a potato cut up to have at least two eyes in it is the method used to grow more potatoes.  

We all have had potatoes that when kept in storage for a while have grown sprouts out of these eyes, this is what they do when planted, they sprout out of the eyes.   These sprouts form the root system as well as the stems, leaves and flowers.  The eatable tubers are produced on the roots of the plant and are harvested after the tops die down, in most areas this is in the late summer or early fall, depending on climate and variety, potatoes keep well in cool storage like a root cellar.

Mechanical seeders were developed in the pre-Civil War era and allowed one person and one or two horses to plant far more crops in a day than by hand, anyone having ever planted potatoes know they are more work than most plants grown from seed.   In good loose soil most of the other root crops are easy to harvest by simply pulling them out of the ground or spading along the row, potatoes are not as easy to harvest

The mechanical potato planter was developed in the late 1870ís and the mechanical potato harvester was developed in the middle 1880ís, these inventions made commercial growing of potatoes on a much larger scale possible.  The harvester dropped them on the ground so they still had to be picked up by hand, but for anyone who has ever gardened and dug potatoes by hand will understand the labor saving this device allowed, it also could be used for other root crops, saving labor on those as well.

Although potatoes come in different colors, sometimes the skin and sometimes itís also the flesh, they are most often divided up into two main types, the ones called waxy and the ones called mealy.  The main differences for our concerns are the mealy type has higher starch content in them.  The mealy are the best type for baking and frying, the waxy respond better to boiling and steaming.  This does not mean one can not use one type for the other, it just means the results tend to often be better when used the ways stated.  

Parsley Family: Apiaceae

Carrot: Daucus carota supspecies sativus

Wild forms of carrot are known all over Europe and Asia, but the domesticated carrot originates most likely in the south central part of Asia around Afghanistan.  The carrot was introduced to Europe sometime around the 14th Century.   Today almost all carrots grown are orange in color, but they can range from white to purple with shades of yellow, orange and red being the colors of specific cultivators, these older types has became popular with some home gardeners.

Today most carrots are eaten raw, steamed or boiled and in pot roasts, soups and stews and of course carrot cake.  In the past they were also used for puddings, custards and for a custard pie similar to pumpkin pie.  The season for carrots is from about the 1st of May to into November with the availability being almost all year in the time period because they store well.  Iím sure my readers are familiar enough with carrots to now have to dwell much on their uses, although I will mention the so called baby carrots of today are not really a small type of carrot, but a large straight, narrow carrot that has been peeled, trimmed and rounded by grinding.  Originally a way to use up deformed carrots not easily saleable in their original form, today there are specific cultivars grown to be formed into the popular ďbaby carrots.Ē

Parsnip: Pastinaca sativa

Parsnips are a close relative of the carrot and have the same origins; in ancient writings they are not always well distinguished.  It like many of our vegetables was brought to the United States by the early English settlers.  Parsnips do best in a climate where there are hard freezes since it does not develop full flavors till after a hard freeze.

In modern America parsnips like many of the other root vegetables are seldom seen or even know by a lot of the general public, they can sometimes be found in the produce section of larger stores but are often fairly pricy compared to potatoes, onions and carrots.  

In 19th Century American they were seen more in stores and were a very common root vegetable in home gardens.  One of the reason for this is it is a crop that can be left in the ground all winter and dug as needed till early spring, this often requires mulching to keep the ground from freezing too hard to allow digging in the winter, but it allows a source of fresh vegetables till early spring since they need to be dug and stored before the new leaf growth.  The parsnips could be an important source of vitamin C in the winter preventing scurvy a common problem at the time.  

Parsnips are used in the same manner as carrots, as stated above they need to be left in the ground till after a hard freeze kills the tops, they store well in a root cellar, but actually store better left in the ground, they can be mulched heavy to make winter digging easier or as in the past, they can be left in the ground till it thaws in the spring, they do need dug before the sprout as that detonates them very quickly.  

Sunflower Family: Asteraceae

Salsify/Oyster Plant: Tragopgon porrifol

Salsify is also known as oyster plant, it produces a root that has a flavor resembling oysters.  Also the leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten in salads.  Salsify is very closely related to the weed commonly knows as a Goats beard, but with lavender to purple flowers instead of yellow.  (Tragopogon pratensis other unrelated plants also are sometimes called by this common name.) Today this plant is almost unknown in the United States, but it still has some popularity in Europe.  In earlier times it had much bigger popularity and recipes show up in many if not most of the 19th Century cook books published in the United States.  

Salsify is ready in the fall and is also best if frost kills the tops before digging, it can be used in most dishes instead or with carrots and parsnips, it is also used in mock oyster stews or in fritters called ďmock oystersĒ because of the resemblance in taste to that of oysters.   Salsify like parsnips has the added advantage in that it stores well and can winter over in the ground if mulched and then can be a fresh vegetable early in the spring right after the frost comes out of the ground.  As mentioned before, this could be very important when a lack of vitamin C from fresh vegetables and fruit caused scurvy by late winter and early spring.

As a note to prevent confusion there is a root vegetable called Black Salsify (Scorzonera hispanica) also known as Spanish Salsify that is in the same family but a different genus, however this type is and was almost unknown in this country.

I have included a few pictures of home root cellars to show some different ways they were built, the pictures are by the Farm Security Administration during the 1930ís but the design has changed little.   These were used also to store fruits, vegetables such as winter squash and well as home canned goods.  We all know from the movies The Wizard of Oz and Twister, they were also used as a refuge from tornados and Iím sure like myself some of my readers have done the same a time or two.  

The last picture is a Solomon Butcher picture and shows a garden on a homestead in the spring, the long row of plants on the inside of the fence is one of the types of winter onions.  
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The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 09:51:27 pm »

Thank you Dell - this is a tome worthy of saving and I shall be goi g thru it for this years garden :-)

yhs
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 03:06:56 am »

Always an educational pleasure to read you, my friend.
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 12:46:36 pm »

Excellent!   I am a fan of the rutabaga.  In my late teens, I moved to college and had my first experience with processed foods.   (seriously if we did not grow/raise it, I did not eat it and lived half a block from school, so never ate a school lunch until college).  Well, my health went to heck in a hand basket.  After two trips to emergency room, it was discovered I was allergic to soybean and potatoes.   Soybean required me to carry and epi-pen for years.   the potatoes, if they were home grown, I can eat a little.  Mass produced ones, not so much.   Having grown up on meat and potatoes, I searched for substitutes.   Not really a good one, but a 50-50 mix of rutabaga and beet will make a most excellent version of red-flannel german potato salad.   Even when I decide to be bad and use potatoes, the best german potato salad to me know is 50-50 beets.  Also love parsnips.   Yum.

Not sure if it is myth or fact, but I have read the reason most carrots are orange is the English promoted them over the other colors during the reign of William of Orange (he of William and Mary College fame)   They just became synonymous with carrots after that point.
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 02:58:31 pm »

I've heard that about carrots, but not sure if it's true or not.
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 01:47:20 am »

My Good Mog -
there a re a wide variety of potatoes out there, South America has over 200 varieties - one might be agreeable to your constitutuon.

 Failing that we have substituted sweet potatoes and different yams. They bake up very nicely, white ones can be sliced boiled & mashed. I am still playing with "how to" make fries from them

yhs
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 07:30:54 am »

Hi Prof,
I have tried several varieties of purple and pink potatoes, those are not too bad for me.  My wife's reaction to potatoes is far worse than mine, and hers is linked to starch as a whole.   We have tried several "substitutes".   I make a sweet potato fry up that is not a bad substitute, use onions and peppers, and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.  Also, if you can really squeeze the moisture out of it, a mix of shredded zucchini, onion and spaghetti squash makes for a convincing hash brown cake. 

I have just discovered a tv show on my cable.  It is on a network called RLTV and it is "A Taste of History".   Not bad, it focuses mainly on 18th century cooking.   The chef is a German guy, but it is primarily done in US during the colonial/revolution period.  I have seen an episode in South Africa and Japan though.  If you have not seen it, I recommend it.   Really makes me angry at my high school guidance councilor, no one told me jobs like this, myth busters, or experimental archaeology were even an option!   It was all "No, you are good at science, you need to stick with that.  What, do you expect them to open a history factory down the street?"   I think my dad got to them early on! Cheesy
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life is too short to waste on stupid


« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 02:49:06 pm »

Hi Prof,
I have tried several varieties of purple and pink potatoes, those are not too bad for me.  My wife's reaction to potatoes is far worse than mine, and hers is linked to starch as a whole.   We have tried several "substitutes".   I make a sweet potato fry up that is not a bad substitute, use onions and peppers, and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.  Also, if you can really squeeze the moisture out of it, a mix of shredded zucchini, onion and spaghetti squash makes for a convincing hash brown cake.  

I have just discovered a tv show on my cable.  It is on a network called RLTV and it is "A Taste of History".   Not bad, it focuses mainly on 18th century cooking.   The chef is a German guy, but it is primarily done in US during the colonial/revolution period.  I have seen an episode in South Africa and Japan though.  If you have not seen it, I recommend it.   Really makes me angry at my high school guidance councilor, no one told me jobs like this, myth busters, or experimental archaeology were even an option!   It was all "No, you are good at science, you need to stick with that.  What, do you expect them to open a history factory down the street?"   I think my dad got to them early on! Cheesy

Greetings My Good Mog

thanks for the tips! as my wife is a celiac and also has reactions to white potatoes and soy, we are continually pursuing any and all tasty alternative possibilities. I am about to try a recipe for a GF pizza from America's Test Kitchen and if it works, she will be able to have pizza for the first time in 7 years.

regarding Magical Jobs - I too have a passion for such historical endevours, ans well as Myth Busters, experimental historicity & etc.
There are so few paying gigs in these fields  - I find that when one delves into the backstory these folks busted thier keesters at minimum wage for a  long time before they became a paying job.

please see my new post over here in the Longbranch Saloon
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,57557.0.html
so I don't steal this FOOD thread.

yhs
rof marvel
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