I am certainly biased, but I really do think a day spent wandering around our grounds combined with a trip to Arthur Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood is pretty much the best way to spend a day in New York City. I’m pretty enamored with Borgatti’s ravioli and the wares at Casa della Mozzarella, and it seems about time to try out the Bronx Beer Hall. What’s your favorite food destination in Belmont? ~AR
Found at Neatorama.
I wonder if the blueberries taste anything like blueberries. Or the snozberries, for that matter. I think I’ll draw the line at fondant-flavored chili peppers. —MN
Welp, this is one of those epoch-defining moments where historians draw a line between the previous age and the new one. Nasturtiums have always been peppery additions to salads, or just snacking all by their lonesome, but this is going to change my bread game. Scratch that—it’s going to rearrange the fundamental building blocks of my bread game. —MN
In slips the warm weather, and with it a flood of novel edibles. I’m not talking about the bundled asparagus chilling in turkey roasters at your local supermarket, either.
“Many of the most delicious wild edibles are invasive weeds,” says Ellen Zachos, an NYBG instructor. Others make up the ornamentals you plant in your yard. It’s a concept we’ve hammered a few times before, especially in the case of the near-ubiquitous invasive known as Japanese knotweed. But there are so many options to keep on your proverbial plate.
The article will give you a few ideas; better yet, you could just take Ellen’s course here in July. She’ll help you figure out how to identify wild edibles while giving pointers on doing it safely, conscientiously, and within the bounds of the law. Solid tenets for any greenhorn urban picker. —MN
Decided to start on an “ill-informed botanist” card set.
I’m a DOCTOR JIM, not a BOTANIST!
There are days when I need this on a poster—I admit it. Meanwhile, I’ll fight for the radish greens’ honor. Some people think they taste better than the starchy root itself!
I only wish I’d known that when they were taking over my yard a few years ago. —MN
Truth be told, my stomach for green things had a threshold sitting somewhere below sea level until I was into my early twenties. Shameful, I know. Since then, I’ve been anxious to at least try new vegetation (I didn’t say I’d like it), and fiddleheads—the furled fronds of young ferns—are high on my list.
There are some caveats to harvesting these adolescent springtime delicacies yourself, up to and including potential food poisoning and natural toxins if you don’t know your way around a woodland harvest. But one of our own experts, John Mickel (NYBG senior curator emeritus, fern expert, and secretary of the New York Fern Society for decades) was on hand to put at least one concern to rest in this quick rundown of the latest trend in foraged food.
As always, don’t eat anything wild without knowing what you’re doing. And be sure to have a thorough understanding of your area’s collection laws; if you don’t know the status of what you’re picking, and it’s not your land, best to leave it alone. Click through for the fiddlehead rundown, complete with preparation tips. —MN
Malaysian artist Hong Yi set out with one goal—to play with her food in ways not seen since Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Though, admittedly, her methods are a bit more nuanced than those of Richard Dreyfuss.
With spring’s gardening soon to begin, this pared portraiture seemed apt! Click through for more from this tasty collection. —MN
Entirely edible, pickle-able, and marmalade-able, the finger lime has seen some culinary success down under in the last decade. Each globe of the finger lime’s “caviar” is actually a vesicle filled with juice. And that sounds kind of strange up until you realize how well this would work as a topping for fruit salad, frozen yogurt, certain cocktails… Australia, how do you feel about exporting samples to a certain set of citrus-starved New Yorkers? —MN
Citrus australasica aka Australian Finger Lime and Caviar Lime.
Pandanus tectorius, a.k.a. the thatch screwpine. This is one of those economic boon plants useful for so many things. The fruit is edible raw, and the leaves can be used for flavoring, sweetening, or fashioning all sorts of stuff.
Warranted you’re on a Pacific island like those of Hawaii and Micronesia, you might even get to try out this vegetal supernova yourself! —MN
Fruit of the Hala or Puhala Tree seed pod
My brain says “tomato,” but my heart says “candy-coated gummy confection of fantastical provenance.” —MN
A Green Zebra tomato that I cut in half and marveled at a couple of nights ago.
Finding a good apple at any time of year is about as easy as opening your mailbox. I’m pretty sure they stuff them in with the junk mail. But getting your mitts on a decent post-summer peach is more like finding the holy grail; I’m not saying you need Harrison Ford and Sean Connery to make it happen, but you might have to travel some.
So why, in our age of speedy international trade and worldwide harvests, is it so hard to pin down a bushel of peaches some seasons when so much produce is available year round? Well, when it comes to this particular hand fruit, thin skin means more than just hurt feelings. —MN
These tomatoes are so pretty, they have this neat starburst pattern on their tops.
Sometimes the #gardening tag dredges up some weird undertakings. This is not one of those times. These gem-like black plum tomatoes snugly fit the bill for our ongoing summer crush on the fruit, and, true to my most recent fixation, they’re an heirloom variety. Russian, in fact!
In hot weather, they have a tendency to take on an almost black color, hence the name. Their flavor is often described as smoky, spicy, and sweet, all at once. —MN
Freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil - brilliant!
My first thought: “HERBAL CHEESE?” Yeah, no, not even close. But this is a clever means of preserving those “hard” herbs you might buy fresh, like thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano. More importantly, I’m left wondering how these might fare, taste-wise, as ice cubes in a Bloody Mary. Is drinking frigid olive oil taboo by foodie standards? —MN
Wow, does anyone have any thoughts on what has made the price of peppers skyrocket over the last 30 years? Yet another great reason to grow your own!
Also, you should take a look at this charticle documenting the change in what Americans eat over that same time period. I’m actually quite surprised by the drop in dairy consumption, but am not surprised in the least by the rise in processed foods and sweets. What America Spends On Groceries : Planet Money : NPR via Bon Appetit. ~AR