Posts Tagged ‘asparagus’

a new season: another asparagus rant

July 4, 2009

Bremen in May means asparagus. Every morning, my mom jumps on her bike and returns a little later with kilos of the stuff, right from the farm. We recently ate asparagus for a whole week, every day. This makes me relaxed enough for a candid report about my asparagus life at home in Bollebygd. (more…)

green (soft. mushy.) boiled vegetables

January 17, 2008

Hervé This-Benckard, also mentioned on this blog, combines the art of cooking and chemistry. I have here a German translation of his Les secrets de la casserole. Most enlightening is his explanation why green vegetables should be boiled in much, lively boiling, water and without a lid. Note: this recommendation is entirely the opposite of what <fill in favorite term> have told their daughters for centuries. (more…)

the travels of haricots verts and asparagus

November 21, 2007

I just learned that opinions vary about what the term haricots verts means. Some think the French “green beans” are a smaller variety of the common green bean, but the French Wikipedia version says that they in fact are just: common green beans.

Everyone seems to agree that small, equally sized green beans are most delicious, whatever they might be called. Marcella Hazan, in her Classic Italian Cookbook, p. 307, equals fagiolini verdi with French beans. Often, all sizes of beans are bunched together. If you have the chance, says Marcella, you should pick the smallest ones available, or at least only beans of an equal size, so they cook evenly.

Green beans grow pretty much anywhere. Germany, Holland, France, Italy all have their own production. In Holland the price for green beans is ridiculously low most of the time. In Germany, they are usually still affordable. What Sweden shares with these countries (and more than twenty others that are potential green bean producers) is a membership in the European Union. Frozen green beans, some from other EU countries and some of unknown origin, are available in Sweden; the cheap ones are usually ghastly. The other ones are not cheap and even here, their inherent limpness makes them difficult to prepare well. Another way of offering green beans in this country is neatly sorted into miniature green carton trays, for an outrageous price. These are called haricots verts and come from: (more…)