Cabbage is an edible white/green, and sometimes purple, plant that has many culinary uses. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is the key ingredient in coleslaw and sauerkraut. It is closely related to cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. There are many varieties of cabbage, but the most common . . . Read more
The grapefruit is a member of the citrus family and it is related to other citrus crops such as oranges, lemons and limes. It is known for being quite sour, often with a hint of sweetness (this does depend on the variety of grapefruit). It has long been popular as . . . Read more
Kale is a leafy vegetable that can have green or purple leaves. Kale is an edible plant and it is commonly added to salad or baked to create kale “chips.” It also has many other uses and can be added to many savoury dishes. It is highly regarded for its . . . Read more
We all know about the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe during the Christmas season. Almost all of us have seen this tradition in movies or on television and some may have even participated in the tradition! However, the use of mistletoe in the home dates back long before the . . . Read more
Garlic is a species of edible plant that is closely related to onions, shallots, leeks and chives. The plant grows to about 60 cm (2 ft) high and the edible portion is actually the bulbous portion that grows underground. Garlic has many culinary uses and it is used in cuisines all over the world. It is popular as a strong flavoring and seasoning. It also has many historical and medicinal uses and is being studied for potential health benefits. There are two subspecies of garlic and hundreds of different varieties within these subspecies. Let’s find out where garlic originated from and where it is grown today.
Spinach is an edible green leafy plant that can be eaten both raw and cooked. It is used in a variety of recipes and is well known for its high nutritional value. It contains a number of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The spinach plant only grows to about 30 cm (12 in) and the edible leaves are usually oval to triangular in shape to a maximum of 30 cm (12 in) long and 15 cm (6 in) wide. There are many varieties of spinach, but the most common variety is known as Spinacia oleracea (called common spinach). Let’s find out where spinach comes from and where it is grown today.
Barley is an important cereal grain that has a number of uses. It is commonly used as an animal feed, in certain beverages (especially beer), as a grain for bread and other culinary uses, and as malt. Barley is a member of the grass family and is similar in appearance to wheat. The edible portion is actually the seed of the plant and this is processed and refined for its many uses. Barley is the fourth largest cereal crop produced in the world and is grown in over 100 countries in the world. Let’s find out where barley comes from and where it is grown today.
Maize, usually called corn in English speaking countries, is a staple grain that grows on long stems which can reach 2-3 m (7-10 ft) in height. The edible portion of the plant is called the ear, which is the female cluster of flowers (inflorescence). In most varieties of maize these are quite large with smaller yellow edible seeds, which are about the same size as peas. Corn can be eaten cooked or used in a number of dishes. It is also ground like wheat to create an important flour, which is used to create a number of food items such as tortillas. Other varieties of maize are used for animal feed or for producing products, such as corn ethanol. There are a number of varieties of maize, but in general the sugar rich varieties for eating are called sweet corn and the others are called field corn. Maize has also been extensively genetically modified to improve yields and pest/disease resistance. Let’s find out where maize comes from and where it is grown today.
Lettuce is a leafy vegetable that is often used in salads and as garnish. It is part of the sunflower family Asteraceae and is mostly green and red in color. Lettuce ranges in size from 15-30 cm (6 to 12 in) and can be tightly packed or have loose curly leaves. Lettuce can be grown from seed or from steams depending on the variety. Lettuce is easily cultivated and is grown all year round. Whilst lettuce is mostly used in salads it can also be used in soups, sandwiches and sandwich like meals.
Holly, also called Ilex, is the name given to a family of about 600 species of flowing plants. Holly comes in varieties, from large trees to small shrubs and climbers. Most species are relatively slow growing and some species can reach 25 m (82 ft) tall. The best known variety is European holly, which is often used at Christmas as a decoration, especially on Christmas wreaths. This species features green leaves with red berries, which fits nicely with the colors of Christmas. Let’s find out where holly comes from and where it grows today.