The Produce Quiz – What Am I?

Considered an ornamental plant, I am native to South America, and though I am quite pretty, I am useful as well. Let’’s start from the top and work our way down. I am a flower, and edible flower when grown for culinary uses, delicate and beautiful in shades of bright yellow, orange, or red. I am always used fresh and add a spicy peppery zing to fresh salads. I am so versatile I can be used as a drink garnish or stuffed and deep fried. Moving down, my buds can be pickled in Tarragon vinegar and used in place of capers. My leaves can be used fresh or sauteed in olive oil with shallots as served as warmed greens. But wait, there’’s more! In several of my varieties I produce an odd shaped tuber called Anu, a mild non-acid potato like starch which can be consumed after ten minutes of boiling. Finally I have great medicinal properties. I have been used as a stimulant, expectorant, antiscorbutic, and a diuretic as well as a topical remedy. I have recently become part of a lotion used to prevent hair loss. Even my seeds can be used as a purgative. In botanical Latin I mean watercress, but that’’s definitely not what I am all about.

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Produce Quiz courtesy of
Richard Liebowitz
Culinary Specialty Produce

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