Duncan, my good friend and ‘Renaissance-Man’ role model from across the Mediterranean, thru Gibraltar, and thence up the coast to the UK is currently doing a stellar series on food: animal vs plant-sourced? Well worth following : http://somewittyhandle.wordpress.com/
But meanwhile,, for any number-phobes put off by my last post, here is my little contribution to the nutritional racket.
The tree in question, Moringa oleifera, is touted as the perfect solution to world hunger: Fast growing, drought-tolerant, a heavy producer of edibles (I’ve seen ‘world record-holder’), and also an oft-mentioned litany of nutritional values: (“More nickel than a meteorite, more Cadmium than a car battery, more Vitamin ‘C’ than Linus ever saw in his life.. etc”
I bought two saplings 6 years ago, and a year later planted their seeds, (I remember the first one that sprouted as a ‘miracle!’, but it turns out you’d have to be a satanic reverse-Midas-touch monster to have them refuse to sprout.)
Soo.. I now have at least 200 Moringa trees of all ages.
Ok, but what I lacked was any real experience actually eating Moringa.
This month, the Sri Lankan ‘guest-workers’ here finally discovered my gold mine. Happy at first to talk to anyone with a history of consumption, I gave them a couple hand-fulls of the seed pods.
Two nice free visits later, they got serious and loaded three heavy suitcases with pods. Ok, with me verging on starvation, I asked whether they could be sold? “Sold?” The question didn’t seem to register, nether Hebrew nor English being a common tongue. I pulled out the only pathetic shekel-note in my wallet this week, a 20, and gestured: “I give you pods… you give me… these.”
Hmm, Perhaps they understood, who knows?
Anyway, thence directly to Google, where I learned to ‘cut into short pieces, like green beans, boil, and add .. um.. truckloads of spices. Supposed to taste like asparagus. Which I hate and refuse to eat, but no mind.
So the reason I’m writing this today on a quiet Sabbath afternoon is that I am, as we speak, waiting for my virgin eating-experiment. Just took them off the stove to cool.
Be right back, as they say.
Ok, ‘stringy’ and ‘woody’ are both ridiculous understatements. No one warned me to have a ‘spittoon’ handy for the inedible 90 per cent of the entre/mess.
I was tempted to boil them for an additional month or so, but decided against it, partly because the taste is about as appealing as that mouth-full of crab-grass you bite into after being knocked off your horse.
Never say die, I say. I’ll ask the guinea -pig Bangla-Desh-is to bring me a sample edible meal, in fair-exchange for another ten pounds of now-worthless (to me) cellulose. Possibly cows, with four times the count of stomachs as ‘moi’, can digest Moringa.
Do check Duncan’s food-series, if you’re looking for actually edible choices.
For now, Mac D’s calls to me, if only because no spittoon is required.
ADD: the leaves, fresh or dried can be used kinda as a ‘thickener in soup. Maybe that’s what I’ll sell, in the end. I’m such a Socrates/ Pascal’s wager/ Hippocrates kind of guy: I refuse to sell anything I haven’t proven to myself to be tasty.
That’s it from ‘Johnny’s Kitchen News’/ JS