Peas

The pea is the edible seed of of the Pisum sativum plant. Enclosed in long pod, it is technically a legume and is believed to have been first domesticated in Asia. Varieties can be divided into two categories: Green, or sweet, peas and field peas, which are dried for long-term storage. The most common variety

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Carrots

  In his book, The Carrot Purple, food historian Joel Denker tells us that the iconic carrot as we know it today, brightly orange and deliciously sweet, was once nothing more than a novelty.  Up until the 17th century, carrots were generally purple or yellow, and fraught with issues. It seems the purple carrot juice

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Bananas

The word banana comes from the Arabic “banan,” meaning finger. A fitting moniker given that these long, curved tropical fruits may well be the greatest finger food of all time.  They port easily, need no refrigeration, and their thick skin serves as the perfect wrapper. Simply snap the stem, peel, and you have a delicious,

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Fennel

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), that crunchy, white bulbous plant with green stalks and feathery fronds is a tasty delight. But did you know it played a major transport role in Greek mythology? Prometheus wanted to give humans a special gift. So he stole lightning from top Olympian god Zeus and smuggled the gift of fire to

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Pumpkin

In the U.S., where most fruits and vegetables are now available year round, pumpkins remain steadfastly seasonal.  In early August, they are virtually non-existent, but as soon as a hint of autumn fills the air, these vibrant orange orbs show up by the score; not just at the market, but in everything from muffins and

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Beets

Thanks to the rise of farmers markets in cities and towns from California to Maine, Florida to Washington State, beets have gone from zero to hero in the vegetable world in just a few short seasons. This newfound fame comes as chefs, cooking school instructors and nutritionists are touting this ancient plant’s sweet, earthy taste

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Sweet Potatoes

One Potato, Two Potato…Sweet Potato! Sweet potatoes rank high on the “irresistible foods” menu for Thanksgiving Day. Not surprising. The tuber, considered a superfood, is colorful, moist and naturally sweet-tasting, low in calories and sodium, and packed with vitamins and minerals. The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), is a Native American plant of the morning glory

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Parsnips

Admired for its earthy flavor and delicate sweetness, the parsnip (Pastinaca sativum) is an ivory-colored taproot from the umxbelliferae family and a close relative of carrots, parsley, fennel, and celery. This Eurasian native once grew wild and was considered a luxury food by the aristocracy of ancient Rome. In the 16th century, Europeans brought parsnips

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Artichokes

The artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) may have thorns and an armor-like appearance, but it is a vegetable with a tender heart. This member of the thistle group of the sunflower family is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region and one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, recorded as early as

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Raspberries

The raspberry, with its delicate texture, slightly acidulous taste and sumptuous flavor, is a fruit of both simplicity and elegance. From humble homemade pies, scones and jams…

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