Category: Food

Purple Passion Fruit

1. WHAT IS IT?  AKA: passiflora, apricot vine, grenadilla, maracuja, maracuya Countries of origin: Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina Plant of origin: Passiflora edulis History: The name Flor de las cinco llagas or “flower of the five wounds” was given by 16th-century Catholic Spanish missionaries when they visited South America. The passion flower was seen as a symbol of Christ’s crown of…

Kiwi Berries

1. WHAT IS IT? AKA: hardy kiwifruit, arctic kiwi, dessert kiwi, grape kiwi Countries of origin: Japan, Korea, and Northern China Plant of origin: Actinidia arguta—their vines climb and intertwine, encouraging horizontal growth for easy maintenance and harvesting. History: Bringing kiwi berries to the United States is difficult due to the fruit’s short shelf-life and fast ripening. However, commercial production…

Tomato Oil

1. WHAT IS IT? Country of origin: Italy History: After a trip to Italy in 1989, Karyn Korteling, owner of Pastabilities restaurant in Syracuse, was inspired to make her own version of tomato with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, honey, chili pepper, and spice oil. Twenty-five years later, Hot Tom is still on the shelves in Central New York.   2.…

Pork Jowl (the better bacon)

  1. WHAT IS IT?  AKA: jowl bacon, guanciale (gwan-CHAH-leh) Animal of origin: pig History: These cured, smoked pork cheeks are popular in the Southern United States where they’re traditionally eaten with black-eyed peas and collard greens. In Italy, they rub the meat with salt, ground black pepper, sugar, and other spices, then let it sit for 3 days to…

Not-so-common Pastas Shapes

  1. RICCIOLI Pronounced: r-IH-ch-ee-OH-L-ee Translation: “Curls” Replaces: Rotini Shape benefit: holds bits of meat, vegetables, and a variety of sauces Recipe Suggestions:  Rainbow Riccioli with Peppers and Onions Riccioli with Grilled Chicken and Wild Mushroom Sauce (from reluctantgourmet.com)   2. BARILOTTI Pronounced: b-AR-iL-OH-t-ee Translation: “Barrels” Replaces: Rigatoni Shape benefit: absorbs sauces and expands in size Recipe Suggestions: Green Monster Pasta Primavera with Barilotti Barilotti…

Wine Flour

1. WHAT IS IT? Origin: pomace—a pulpy matter from the seeds, stems and skins of grapes after being pressed to make juice. History: After harvested and pressed for juice, a goopy grape residue is left behind (mountains of it) and has been the wine industry’s biggest concern regarding sustainability. Traditionally discarded as garbage, pomace these days is sold to gardeners and used…

Okra

1. WHAT IS IT?  Pronounced: oh-crah  AKA: ladies’ fingers; bhindi; ochro; gumbo Countries of origin: West Africa and South Asia  Plant of origin: Abelmoschus esculentus History: It’s unclear where okra originally came from. South Asia has distant ancestors of the plant, while West Africa has a greater diversity of it. One of the earliest reports of okra is from 1216…