Saturday, February 7, 2015

Please don't eat the daisies

Supermarkets have been warned to keep daffodils away from the vegetables so we don't eat them, so the news greeted me this morning.  I could just see the shock horror on people's face as they contemplated this ridiculous Health and Safety warning.  But read the article and you will find that those slender stems of unopened buds are very similar to Asian garlic chives, and it is Chinese people unable to read English that have been fooled.  So before you judge, in that English, or that Welsh manner, it is funny to start with but just has a little bit of commonsense in the sting of the tale.

Udo @ Creative Commons
Yesterday my Permaculture magazine came, and in it was the vegetable Udo, it looks just like forced rhubarb, and in fact is grown in a very similar way to chicory, the stump of the base of the endive planted in a large pot and then covered with another black pot to exclude light.  And for Pat, chicory simmered till just  cooked,  most of the water squeezed out,  then  wrapped in ham, cheese sauce on top and  baked in the oven - delicious!

But to get back to Udo, Family - Araliaceae it is an Asian vegetable, and because I love words a description in several languages; Chinese - Shi Yong Tu Dang Gui;  English - Japanese Asparagus, Udo;  French - Aralie a feullies Cardees;  German -Japanische Bergangelika and  Japanese - Udo.
Never seen it on the shelves.  But in Japan you find it wild on the mountains, and there is another sort called Aralia glabra which is a high mountain udo

I think Udo has a somewhat strong flavour, (perhaps similar to the ransomes - strong garlic taste) we find in early spring in woodland.  Udo is often chopped and added to the Japanese Miso soup, but can also be eaten raw with a salad dressing, or the flower buds are used in summer fried in tempura.

A great show of ransomes in the Langridge area


  1. Thank you for that chicory recipe - I do it with leeks but can't do it with celery as the farmer hates it - so shall now try it with chicory. This time of year the vegetables get a bit boring - roll on the first asparagus.

  2. Still like the sweetness of winter vegetables, but yes asparagus are delicious dribbled with butter ;)