Thursday, November 09, 2006

I eat Noxious Weeds and Briny Eggs

Comfort Food in Abilene

I started getting sick of just lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers and celery quite a while back. I know there's more variety in the average American grocery store than that when it comes to vegetables, but somehow, to me, it just doesn't come close to the variety of green leafy vegetables in the tropics, that I've come to miss so much.

So, whenever our Filipino Food Store here in Abilene has some "kangkung" or "ong choy" or ( as david calls it, in some comprehensible English sounding word ) "water spinach" , I almost break out in song right there in the store.

Apparently, though, it's quite the pesky plant here in the States...

It is most commonly grown in East and Southeast Asia. Because it flourishes naturally in waterways and does not require much if any care, it is used extensively in Malay and Chinese cuisine, especially in rural or kampung (village) areas. It is not to be mistaken with watercress, which often grows in similar situations.

It has also been introduced to United States of America where its high growth rate caused it to become an environmental problem, especially in Florida and Texas. It has been officially designated by the USDA as a "noxious weed." Despite this ominous label, the plant is not in any way harmful when consumed ("noxious" is a legal term denoting harmful, in this case, to native plants). In fact, the plant is similar to spinach in its nutritional benefits.


Well, David liked it though, when I cooked it for dinner some time back.

Also, I found something I had not had in a while - other than when my brother sends me Moon Cakes ( we'll save the mooncake talk for another day ) from Virginia, ( thanks, sweetie! )

It was weird to see them individually shrink wrapped in a styrofoam box, though. Oh well, I'll take what I can get!


Laura.Y said...

Hmm that's a new one. I nvr thought I'd see Kangkong described as a noxious weed. I guess we do take some things for granted in various parts of the world. LOL I wonder how your neighbours will feel bout belacan and kangkong. :)

Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...

I remember you wrote about those eggs before, can you tell me again what they are...are they candy that just LOOKS like eggs, or are they eggs that are pickled or what? I'm not a big fan of green vegetables but I should eat them more. I'd be willing to try Kangkong.

Jaxon S said...

wah, the good old kangkong.. goes well with almost anything, especially with sea food

Ashley said...

So maybe you should try some good southern Kudzu. Another weed that many say is quite edible. :)

Monica said...

duck eggs, Im not sure, I wont even eat duck

vagus said...

man, i wish we could get those things here in minnesota