Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More on the Little Green Pods

After coming to love okra recently, I started to wonder how it grows. Does it grow on a bush, a tree, small, large?

I almost hesitate to write about this since the Google string that takes the majority of people to my Blog is “How do lentils grow?” Now it will be competing with “How does okra grow?”

But just in case you too are curious about okra, I found an excellent site that will answer most of your questions.

Here are some things I learned:

– The Egyptians were cultivating it in the Nile basin in the 12th century BC.
– It first arrived in the Americas in 1658 in Brazil.
– Okra plants grow best from seed; they do not transplant well.
– The plants can become quite large, sometimes as tall as 7 feet.
– The plants produce large, light yellow flowers. They bloom for only one day and then each becomes an okra pod.
– The plants strongly resemble marijuana plants.
– Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, B6, and folic acid.

Check it out. But more importantly, go buy some okra and enjoy eating it!


Blogger Kristin said...

I'm hooked on okra. The CSA has definitely expanded my horizons.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I agree about the CSA. If it does nothing more for me than introduce me to new vegetables, I will consider it a success. I thought last week's crate was particularly good. I wonder if we got the same things?

1:26 PM  
Blogger E. said...

What is your favorite way to prepare okra? I have never been tempted because the okra my relatives prepared was either fried and greasy or boiled to death and slimy...

1:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

E -- So far I've tried only one recipe, and it is not fried or greasy or slimy! The link in this post has lots of recipes that look interesting.

2:29 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

You will be surprised how much they resemble Marijuana.
Of course you have probably seen neither.

Hi barb!

2:47 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bulletholes -- I didn't lead the entirely sheltered life you seem to think I did! Of course I know what marijuana plants look like. My friend Ann grew lots of it and it was good stuff!

2:57 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I first encountered okra in a Campbell's soup as a kid: chicken gumbo. I loved that soup so much I still buy it occasionally today. One of my favorite tastes and textures in it was the okra. Thanks for the recipe for fresh okra - I will definitely try it soon. (And, B, I have no clue why google blog is allowing me to post as myself when they were insisting for months that I could not.) :)

3:17 PM  
Blogger Mo said...

This is so neat! I love interesting facts about food. I can't remember the last time I had okra, but I do recall it being damn tasty. I'll have to get more okra into my life :)

3:25 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- I was a picky eater as a child, so I probably picked out the okra and neatly stacked it on the side of my bowl. I'm sure I would have have given it a chance!

Mo -- Who knows? Maybe it even cures headaches!

3:30 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I'm starving, and now I'm in the mood for okra!!! That picture of the recipe you made just about did me in. I must have okra. NOW!!!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- 20 minutes is about all it takes!

10:03 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Interesting! I knew it was African, and I think I remember reading that it's a relative of hibiscus. But I might be wrong about that.

(At least "How do lentils grow?" is better than "Tina Louise," which remains my blog's top search term.)

11:28 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

In this week's edition of crate madness, we had:

* Shallots
* Tomatoes
* Cherry tomatoes
* Okra
* Peaches
* Pears
* Melon*

* The sheet said cantaloupe, but it's really a honeydew.

It's been a good couple of weeks.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okra stings when you harvest it-- wear long sleeves!! It is pretty easy to grow (at least here in the South).

Trappey's brand okra in a can is really good too.

Ummmm---in gumbo & jambalaya-- can't beat it!! Tina

3:04 PM  

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