Chinese cooking

Jana Ulmer
Mon, 06 Oct 2008 20:56:45 PDT
I am long time lurker on this list, but this off-topic discussion has  
compelled me to post.  I have grown a "lettuce" that may similar to  
the celtuce that is being discussed.  Seed is available from Fedco  
id=2731&SeedName=lettuce), and here is what they say:

2731CO Cracoviensis Lettuce OG (47 days) My absolute favorite of all  
the lettuces Seed Savers curator M. Schultz has shared with me,  
unlike any other in size, shape or colors. Cracoviensis is where the  
red meets the green, making a dazzling twisting rosette with heavy  
purple accenting, especially towards the center. Plants are fast  
growing and very large. Although relatively rapid bolters, their  
tender buttery flavor doesn’t give way to bitterness even after they  
bolt. May be worth a try for over-wintering in warmer areas.  
Customers in New Jersey and Massachusetts have reported success.  
Listed as a distinct type, Asparagus Lettuce, in The Vegetable Garden  
by Vilmorin-Andrieux (1885). Highly prized in China where they peel  
and eat the thick fleshy stems like asparagus.

What I grew was indeed large and quick to bolt, had a thick fleshy  
stem, and in no way tasted like asparagus.  For us, it fell in the  
"interesting" category, as opposed to the "really tasty" category,  
but we never tried cooking it, maybe it would have been better that way.

In the allium arena, one that we do grow that is both tasty and  
unusual is the I'itoi onion, which on the the Slow Foods "Ark of  
Taste" list. You can read about it here:… 

I planted the small shallot-like bulbs individually and each quickly  
made a small clump of onions which we used both as scallions and as  
chives.  When I say we used them as scallions, I mean that they were  
roughly the size and shape of a green onion, without any "bulb"  
formed at the bottom. The clumps went dormant in the summer, so I dug  
them up, (again looking like small shallots) but before I got to cook  
any in bulb form, they started growing again.  So now they are all  
planted and have formed clumps.  When they go dormant again, which I  
expect will be in early summer, I'd be happy to send some to the BX  
if people here would like to try it.

Jana Ulmer
Sebastopol, CA

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