Unless genetically modified or domesticated, there are of course no “new” fruits or vegetables. But, there are some fruits and veggies that grow organically and with such abundance in other parts of the country, these centuries-old foods are slowly making their way to the US. However, as they are not being modified to suit our palate and quest for convenience, we just aren’t quite sure what to do with them.
For example, the picture below depicts the evolution of a watermelon. On the left is an ancient wild watermelon, and on the right is our modern-day, domesticated watermelon.
Jackfruit has been a part of Asian horticulture for hundreds of years. Naturally sweet, it has long been used to make custards, puddings, and cakes. Some feel that it’s flavor profile is like that of Juicy Fruit gum. Although the jackfruit has a high caloric content, it also has a very long list of beneficial nutrients and is great for hair, skin, and cardiovascular health. Once only available in the US canned in Asian markets, it is now being carried fresh by big-box supermarkets like Whole Foods. Of all things, Jackfruit is now being marketed as a plant-based meat substitute. If cooked in an under-ripe state, jackfruit resembles shredded chicken or pork. Seasoned as such, you may never know the difference. Go figure.
Sea vegetables is essentially code for “sea weed.” But don’t be fooled – sea veggies can be delicious, with the help of a little seasoning and proper cooking technique. You likely have heard of nori, used as wraps for Japanese sushi wraps. Also popping up on American menus and diets are other sea vegetables like the gelatin-like agar agar, and dulse – a wiry, chewy brown veggie that some claim can taste like bacon if prepared as such. Sea vegetables are often sold dried, making them easy to toss into soups, salad dressings,or smoothies to gain their nutritional benefits.
images via pinterest, wp, science alert