Plentiful Plants

Daily eats of a Torontonian student

Mystery Food June 5, 2009

I had something new to try in my green monster this morning, a packet of Vega Smoothie Infusion.

2009_06_05_vega

I blended it up with kale and a banana. I think it was good, it definitely added a nice fruity flavour to the smoothie that could not be attributed to the banana, but the smoothie had a really strong bitter kale aftertaste that doesn’t usually happen it me, and I wasn’t really enjoying by the end. I didn’t add any more kale than usual so I wasn’t expecting that. Maybe the greens powder in the mix just pushed it over the top. If I buy it again I’ll definitely tone down on the added greenery, then it’ll probably be super tasty.  The monster was a darker shade of green than usual…

2009_06_05_green

It was a short day at work so all I brought with me was cherries and cukes and tea in anticipation of a late lunch at home. I was also factoring in the room I would need in my bag to lug home my hard hat and safety acessories. I did also thoroughly enjoy two Lindt truffles from the giant box someone left in the kitchen for their birthday, hazelnut and dark chocolate, yum!

2009_06_05_lunch

When I got home I wasn’t hungry yet so I had two medjools, then went on a shopping trip.

2009_06_05_dates

In chinatown I came across this. And had no idea what it was, so I bought it, of course. I do love an adventure 🙂

2009_06_05_package

I was thinking it might be some sort of flower bud.

2009_06_05_bud

But when I took a closer look at it, it sort of reminded me of corn. Really fat, red corn. So I tried peeling back the leaves.

2009_06_05_peeled

Nope, not corn. Then I was daring, and cut it in half. I started to revert back to my original hunch that it was a flower bud of some sort.

2009_06_05_half

So I entered a search into google, “asian edible flower bud red large”, and the internet’s magical powers let me figure out that I had bought a banana flower. It seems that it’s used a lot in the Thailand-Sri Lanka corner of the globe. It was really neat once I started to pull it apart properly. Under each leaf is a little row of flowers that eventually grow into bananas! And you’ll notice that once a leaf is broken, the sap oxidizes and turns black really quickly.

2009_06_05_leaf

Under that leaf…

2009_06_05_flowers

Eventually I decided to pull out all the little flowers, then finely chop the lighter coloured leaves. I soaked them both in lemon juice and water for a while, then sauteed them in sesame oil and sweet chili sauce.

2009_06_05_babybanana

It was alright. Nothing special, not bad, not not particularly good either, along the lines of bamboo shoots or the tougher bits of artichokes. But now I know what it is. And it was a pain taking the stamens out of all the flowers, and the leaves tasted better anyways, so I’ll just discard the flowers if there is a next time.

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In the process of identifying this weird new food I was getting hungry, so I finished off the head of boston lettuce drizzled with light caesar dressing.

2009_06_05_lettuce

And I also just had a pita with a bit of peanut butter. But this post doesn’t need anymore pictures, does it? Now off to bed with me so I can get up super early for an International Hiking Day adventure! And so I’ll be tired enough to nap in the evening in order to work tomorrow night.

PS.  (The other) Exciting grocery find of the week, I knew exactly what it was, too bad I couldn’t find it a couple weeks ago, Kabocha!

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2 Responses to “Mystery Food”

  1. Amanda Says:

    hey love, the moment I saw that I thought “looks suspiciously like a banana flower.”

    glad to know I was right, though it wasn’t tasty, which is too bad.

  2. Krista Says:

    You sure are brave! At first I thought it was some kind of artichoke. What a great find…even if it didn’t rock your socks off!


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