Enjoying Edamame

Soybeans (Glycine max) are a species of legume. Immature soybeans are called edamame. Soybeans belong to the the family Fabaceae, along with common beans (green snap beans, pinto beans, heirloom beans, Great Northern beans, black turtle beans, kidney beans, and navy beans), edible-pod and mature peas, fava beans, black-eyed peas, jicama, adzuki beans, lentils, lima beans, peanuts, chickpeas, carob, and licorice. The family also includes broom, gorse, and […]

Offering Oranges

Oranges (specifically, sweet oranges) are the fruits of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis. Oranges are hybrids, possibly between pomelos (Citrus maxima) and tangerines (Citrus reticulata). They share the genus Citrus with lemons, grapefruits, limes, pomelos, and tangerines (mandarin oranges). The fruit is a modified berry with tough, leathery rind called a hesperidium. Like other citrus fruits, their peels contain many […]

Opening up to Oyster Mushrooms

Both the Latin and common names of oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) refer to the shape of the fruiting body. The Latin pleurotus (sideways) refers to the sideways growth of the stem with respect to the cap, while the Latin ostreatus (and the English common name, oyster) refers to the shape of the cap, which resembles the […]

Snapping Green Beans

Green beans are also known as string beans, snap beans (in the northeastern and western United States), ejotes (in Mexico), haricots verts (in French), French beans, French green beans, French filet beans, or fine beans (in British English) They are the unripe fruit of various cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) that have been selected especially for […]

Serving Starfruit

Starfruit (Averrhoa carambola) belongs to the Oxalidaceae family, which also includes shamrocks. Starfruit is known many other names including carambola, belimbing or belimbing manis (Indonesia), mafueng (Thailand), kamrakh (Indian) Chinese starfruit, star apple and five-angled fruit. The star fruit has 4-7 (but typically 5) lobes covered in an edible waxy yellow skin. Its name refers to the shape […]

Favoring Fava Beans

Fava beans (Vicia faba), also known as broad beans, faba beans, field beans, bell beans, horse beans, tic beans, pigeon beans, English beans, or Windsor beans, are a species in the Fabaceae family, along with common beans (green snap beans, pinto beans, heirloom beans, black turtle beans, kidney beans, and navy beans), edible-pod and mature peas, soybeans, black-eyed peas, jicama, adzuki beans, lentils, lima beans, peanuts, chickpeas, […]

Chowing on Chayotes

Chayotes (Sechium edule), also known as custard marrows, chow-chows, alligator pears, sayotes, christophenes or christophines, cho-chos, mirlitons or merletons, chuchus, cidras, guatilas, centinarjas, pipinolas, pear squashes, vegetable pears, chouchoutes, chokos, güisquils, labu siams, and ishkus are edible plants belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers, and squash. Chayotes originated in Central America, and specifically […]

Understanding Onions

Onions (Allium cepa), also known as bulb onions or common onions, are the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium, which includes chives, scallions, leeks, garlic, shallots, elephant garlic, and rakkyo. All of these species, belong, in turn, to the Amaryllidaceae family, which includes many ornamentals, such as the belladonna lily, tuberose, snowdrop, snowflake, daffodil, Cape tulip, Peruvian lily, and […]

Gobbling Goji Berries

Goji berries or wolfberries are the fruits of Lycium barbarum  and Lycium chinense, two very closely related species of boxthorn in the Solanaceae or nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, tobacco, and petunias. The Lycium chinense plant grows into an 8-10 foot tall shrub that has a life expectancy well over 100 years. It’s a tough plant that […]