Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spinach - Baby, English, Chinese and more...

Seriously, do you or have you scrutinized every vegetable in the fresh produce section of the grocery store? In knowing all the vegetables you see - the name, what it is, how it is used etc. Familiarity breeds contempt. Often, we get too comfortable in doing the things we are good at and in the process, lose the motivation to see newer things and to find newer experiences. See?...I get too complicated at times, to the extent of associating life as a whole, to shopping for fresh produce. We become time-deficient and shopping in the grocery section means 2 packets of Bok Choy - 1 Cabbage - 3 Tomatoes - 1 packet of Mushrooms - 2 Carrots - Pay at the cashier. Usual stuff. Comfort zone.

Top: English Spinach; Bottom: Chinese Spinach, Amaranth (White)

If you see someone some day in the grocery store, picking up a packet of spinach and staring at that packet, looking head-to-tail of the vegetable, from the leaves to the stems to the roots, go into deep thoughts while holding on to that packet AND worst of all, returning that packet back to that same shelf it had belonged to (not buying it)...errmmm..errmmmm....that person might be ME, yours truly. How precious is time, yes and I have wasted it.

Easily, that most common vegetable you get to see may not be that "easy" after all. SPINACH. So, when I throw out this word, what do you think of? Easy baby! Baby spinach! Or ok, other spinaches? Oh gawd, I can be confused. Or am I just trying to confuse you and myself ?

Both spinaches. Yes. But with different names. There is even a Red Variety of Chinese Amarath (Spinach) - 苋菜 that does not appear in the photo above.

Both spinaches. Yes. Stems different.

Top: Chinese Spinach; Bottom: English Spinach

Both spinaches. Yes. Leaves different.

Top: Chinese Spinach; Bottom: English Spinach

Then there is dear Baby Spinach which looks like the baby of English Spinach ?

All spinaches. Yes. Nutrition content different. That is the last thing on my mind now.  Yes. some say Chinese Spinach has double the amount of iron compared to English spinach. Needs further evidence, yea. Period.

I like using Baby Spinach because they are so much "cleaner" and makes an easy task of rinsing/washing during preparations. I really hate washing English and Chinese Spinach - there is always so much grit ! Need at least 3 changes of water to clean them well or a big big deep sink! But I admit they taste different and I do enjoy all of these spinaches.

Now I shall let you do the research and tell me which variety does Popeye eat? *snigger*

For now, I could do good with a Italian Sausage and Baby Spinach Omelette!

Recipe in 2008, using Baby Spinach

Recipe in 2007, using English Spinach

How about some Spinach craze, sharing some light on the different spinach around.... at Weekend Herb Blogging with Haalo at Cook Almost Anything.

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