Golden Berry

Golden berry (Physalis peruviana) it not a true berry.  It’s in the tomato family, and closely related to the ground tomato known as tomatillo.  Tomatoes are nightshades, a large group of plants that also includes potatoes, eggplants, and golden berries.  Called “aguaymanto” in Peru, golden berries look like small yellow tomatoes.  Now golden berries are …

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Barberry

Berberis is commonly known as Barberry, and they are found throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the world (apart from Australia). Species diversity is greatest in South America, Africa and Asia; Europe and North America have native species as well.  The most well-known Berberis species is the European barberry, Berberis vulgaris, which is common in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia.  Many of the species have …

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Khichdi

Khichdi or khichri, is a South Asian preparation made from rice and lentils (dal).  Khichdi was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree, and is also commonly considered to be the inspiration for the popular Egyptian dish, kushari.  In Indian culture, it is considered one of the first solid foods that babies eat. The Greek ambassador of Seleucus mentioned that rice with pulses is very popular among people of South …

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Lemongrass

Lemongrass, botanically known as Cymbopogon citratus, is a part of the Poaceae family and is a tall perennial grass.  Lemongrass is native to Sri Lanka and South India and for centuries has been commonly used for therapeutic treatments.  Lemongrass can be easily propagated and is commonly found and used as an essential oil. The narrow …

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Turkish Eggplants

Turkish eggplants are known as Scarlet eggplant, Ethiopian eggplant, Gilo, Garden Eggs and Mock tomato.  Turkish eggplant is distinguished by its petite size, globular shape and linear variegations throughout its skin.  When young the fruit will be green, if left on the vine to mature it will turn an orange hue with red striations.  When …

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Kimchi

Kimchi is a uniquely pungent mixture of fermented vegetables and its variations amounted to roughly 80 kinds of dishes during the Choson period.  For spring, summer and fall consumption, kimchi was cured in a small quantity, but for the winter months, large quantities were made so that it could be eaten over three or four …

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Bitter Melon

Momordica charantia, known as bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, or balsam-pear, is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit.  Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit.  Bitter melon originated in India and was introduced into China in the 14th century.  It is widely used in East Asian, South Asian, and Southeast …

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Tomatillo

The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica), also known as the Mexican husk tomato, is a plant of the nightshade family bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name.  Tomatillos originated in Mexico and were cultivated in the pre-Columbian era.  A staple of Mexican cuisine, they are eaten raw or cooked in a variety of dishes, particularly salsa verde. The wild tomatillo and …

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Soursop

Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree.  The exact origin is unknown; it is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and is widely propagated.  The flavour of the fruit has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlying creamy texture reminiscent of coconut or banana. Due to the fruit's widespread cultivation and popularity in …

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Hawaiian Pizza

Despite its tropical name, Hawaiian pizza is a Canadian creation.  The pineapple-laden pie is the brainchild of retired cook, Sam Panopoulos, who first served pineapple on pizza at Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ont., in 1962. At the time, pizza was uncommon in Canada.  “People only put on mushroom, bacon and pepperoni, that’s all,” says Panopoulos.  “I had pineapple …

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