Do you think vegetables are boring?
Nothing could be more wrong – this group of edible plants hides many puzzles. Some of the vegetables originally looked different than today. An example is even carrots.
There are also vegetables that appeared quite recently, as a result of the work of vegetable growers. We do not mean genetically modified plant organisms (GMOs). There are many interesting stories connected with vegetables. We chose the most interesting of them to present them to you in this article.
Carrots were not orange at all
About 400 years ago, carrots were purple, cream or white – it resembled parsley a bit. Today, we would consider purple carrots unappetizing, because we have become accustomed to the fact that the natural color of the carrot is orange. Apparently orange carrots were grown by Dutch breeders in honor of Prince Will van Oranje. Only recently on the market again appeared carrot in its original form, but still not enjoy as much interest as orange carrot.
There are no color varieties of peppers
Do you think that the pepper is available in several color varieties? Finally, you can find red, yellow, orange and green peppers in the stores. However, it is the same variety, only grown in slightly different conditions. Pepper takes on color under the influence of insolation. It also affects the taste of this vegetable. Yellow and orange peppers are colored by carotenoids – lutein and beta carotene. The red pepper owes a sweet aftertaste and a fresh aroma to the two compounds – (E) -2-hexenal and (E) -2-hexanol.
Green pepper is simply immature
Green pepper is a vegetable harvested early – immature. The green paprika contains a lot of chlorophyll, which gives it color. The aldehydes are responsible for the taste of green peppers.
Where did the Brussels sprout come from?
The Brussels grandmother comes from Iraq and Afghanistan – in Europe she was cultivated for the first time in antiquity – in Rome. It owes its name to Brussels because it was popular in Belgium in the 16th century. Brussels sprouts are Brussels sprouts – they were not grown using genetic methods (contrary to some opinions). It occurs naturally in about 100 varieties. Brussels sprouts is a rich source of vitamins A and C, and sulfur compounds are responsible for the characteristic bitter aftertaste.
Humulus lupulus, or hopped asparagus
Hops asparagus are the most expensive vegetable in the world. However, they have little in common with asparagus. These are the shoots of hops – the same that is used for beer production. Young leaves and shoots are harvested so that the hops can grow freely vertically, climbing on a very high pole towards the sun. Harvested leaves and shoots are used as a food product. They have a slightly bitter and nutty aftertaste. The leaves are harvested until the end of May. Only young shoots can be collected later – the leaves are unfit for consumption.
Peanuts – legumes growing underground
Peanuts are legumes growing underground. Their name is very misleading. The flowers rise above the ground and wither. The peduncle goes to the ground, pushing the pod into the ground. Seeds grow in the ground, and to collect peanuts you have to dig them. It typically takes about 4-5 months for sowing to harvesting. The peanuts come from South America. The Incas used this plant while burying the dead. It was brought to Europe by Spaniards during the period of great geographical discoveries (around the 15th-16th centuries).
Sweet potato – sweet, but not potato
Sweet potato was brought to Europe at the beginning of the 16th century. It is called a potato, but from a biological point of view it is not. Sweet potatoes are similar to potatoes, because the tubers are the edible part. Sweet potatoes contain carbohydrates, antioxidants and carotenoids. Some tubers have a purple color – they are a very rich source of anthocyanins (natural dyes with antioxidant properties). Sweet potato belongs to the family of the morningworms. potatoes they are classified as representatives of the nightshade family.
You can read also: Macrobiotic diet