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Weird Vegetables
A Weird vegetable is an edible plant or its part, intended for cooking or eating raw.
1. Oca
Though this colorful root vegetable was originally cultivated in the Andes of South America, it is also sometimes called the "New Zealand yam" due to its popularity there after being introduced in the mid-1800s. Oca can be difficult to find in North America, but in many parts of South America it is second only to the potato in area planted. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and iron.There are many different varieties of oca, so the flavors can vary. But in general, they are tangier and sweeter than potatoes, and can range from starchy to almost fruitlike. In fact, the "apricot" variety grown in New Zealand tastes much like its namesake fruit.
2. Tiger Nut
Though they re often called nuts, these tubers are actually the root from the chufa sedge plant. They were originally cultivated in ancient Egypt, but today are common in Southern Europe too, particularly in Spain. Tiger nuts are often soaked in warm water before being eaten, and they have a sweet, nutty flavor. In Spain they are used to make horchata, a sugary, milky drink. In fact, it can make for a good milk substitute for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.
3. Romanesco
This mesmerizing vegetable is actually an exotic variant of the cauliflower. If you re feeling tripped out while looking at it, that s because it is a natural approximation of a fractal. In fact, the spirals on the head of romanesco follow the Fibonacci pattern so toss one into your next stir fry if you really want to impress that math geek friend of yours. Not only will you feel smarter eating one, you ll probably be healthier too. Romanesco is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and carotenoids.
4. Kohlrabi
A relative of wild cabbage, this unique looking vegetable has been hailed as one of the 150 healthiest foods on Earth. It is most commonly consumed in India, and is a staple in the Kashmiri diet. Pretty much everything on this plant is edible. Fry up the root for some kohlrabi fries, toss the leaves in a salad, or chomp on the crisp, juicy stems for a low calorie snack.
5. Salsify
This plant might be related to the sunflower, but it s the edible root that is the real treat. Salsify has historically been popular as a food crop throughout Europe and as far as the Near East, and is also believed to have medicinal qualities. (In fact, it was once believed to be a cure for snake bites.)You can prepare salsify much like you can many other root vegetables, but what really sets it apart is the taste, which is akin to the flavor of artichoke hearts.


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