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10 unknown types of vegetables

  1. There are many more vegetables than in the vegetable section of a supermarket. Organic shops, markets and especially vegetable gardens can yield a variety of unknown or forgotten vegetables. These vegetables are back in vogue lately. Rather than focusing solely on chemical grown greenhouse vegetables, it is becoming increasingly popular to eat land-grown, original vegetables from Dutch history. In addition, people from other countries have entered and brought their own food habits with them. That is why we can eat a wide range of exotic vegetables. The new supply from outside and the forgotten supply from their own land are two reasons why many vegetable varieties are currently unknown.


  1. 1. Bottle gourd 2. Sopropo 3. Turnip 4. Sea lavender 5. Tree tomato or tamarillo 6. Pattison 7. Narrow-leaved plantain 8. Parsley root 9. Sea kale 10. Salsify

1. Bottle Gourd

  1. Bottle gourd or lauki is mainly eaten in Suriname and Asia. The Hindus from India took it to Suriname. Bottle gourd is a vegetable that you have to season yourself with herbs. It looks a bit like zucchini. Bottle gourd has a long list of medicinal properties. First, it is a strong antioxidant; it fights free radicals. In addition, it is good for the liver, the heart, the immune system, the kidneys and frequent bottle gourd food gives you more rest.

2. Sopropo

  1. Sopropo is a bitter fruit with medicinal power. It is a phytotherapeutic medicine for blood poisoning and malaria. In addition, this ultra-healthy vegetable is a permanent part of the Surinamese kitchen. In Suriname they prefer to make a puree that is served as a side vegetable. You can also fry sopropo in pieces. Because it has a bitter taste, it is good to dress it with a hot pepper; that makes a nice combination. Sopropo is for sale in Surinamese and Asian greengrocers.

3. Turnip

  1. Turnip is one of the forgotten vegetables. For a long time this vegetable was honored by vegetable gardeners, but nowadays you see it more and more in organic stores and even on the market. Turnip is also called turnip. You should also eat the leaf of this vegetable; that is much healthier than the tuber itself. You can first boil the tray. The tuber can be boiled, mashed and mixed with butter and black pepper, delicious!

4. Sea lavender

  1. Sea lavender is a salty vegetable. You don't have to add salt to this vegetable; there is already enough in it. Sea lavender grows in and by the sea. It can easily stand in the salty vegetable garden of a resident of the Dutch coast. This vegetable also does quite well in the vegetable garden further inland. Sea lavender can be cooked in five minutes. You don't have to do complicated tricks to eat delicious sea lavender. Put the boiled sea lavender on your plate, top it with butter and you're done! Enjoy your meal

5. Tree tomato or tamarillo

  1. Tamarillo is a made-up name. People from New Zealand came up with this name for commercial reasons. Tamarillo is a nightshade vegetable and thus related to the eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, red pepper and tree tomato. The tree tomato grows in a five meter high tree; the tree tomato tree. It is a rarity in Europe. You will hardly ever find this vegetable on the shelves of a European supermarket, but in various countries of South America people have the tree around their house in which tree tomatoes grow. The tree tomato tastes slightly more bitter than the regular tomato. The peel is taken off to reduce the bitterness. Peeling is done in the same way as with a regular tomato: by putting it in boiling water for a minute, the skin can then be rubbed off under a cold tap.

6. Pattison

  1. Pattison / Image source: Jamain, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

7. Narrow-leaved plantain

  1. Narrow-leaved plantain is a wild vegetable. Not many people think about food when they see the narrow-leaved plantain, but you can still blanch and finely chop the leaves for use in a stew, salad or soup. The last time narrow-leaf plantain was eaten not only by wild vegetable enthusiasts was in World War II. In times of need, this vegetable is a good way to survive, but you can also enjoy it in normal times and spend your money on more useful things than vegetables grown with pesticides. The wild vegetables are of course biodynamic. Broad-leaved plantain can also be eaten, it tastes a bit more tender.

8. Root parsley

  1. Carrot parsley is a type of parsley with a root that is as thick as a large carrot. A root parsley is not only tasty but also healthy. It is good for the liver, bile and blood. Flatulence, indigestion and menstrual problems can be solved with it. In Indian medicine, Ayurveda, it was also used for urinary tract infections. Carrot parsley is increasingly available in organic shops, but you can also grow this vegetable yourself in the vegetable garden.

9. Sea kale

  1. Sea kale, like sea lavender, is a salty vegetable and can be grown in a sandy garden if you live close to the sea. Sea kale can be grown in agricultural areas close to the coast. It is tolerant of salty air and soil. You can eat sea kale raw or blanch it. It's a nice vegetable for a béchamel sauce.

10. Salsify

  1. When peeling salsify it is best to put on kitchen gloves. This is because a sticky milk juice is released. It is also smart to scare them with boiling water before peeling. You can also peel them in a bowl with water and vinegar. These are all minor inconveniences that ensure that a little later you can enjoy this special vegetable, which was still widely eaten until before the Second World War. Now it has become a forgotten vegetable that you only see in original chef's restaurants and organic shops.

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