“And what is your favorite vegetable to eat?” I asked the widow.
“It’s called,,” she pronounced the next syllables carefully. “Di—le—de.” (Or — something like that.)
“And what does it taste like?” I asked.
It wasn’t easy to figure out which vegetable she was referring to by her verbal description.
It is no easy activity to actually describe the vegetables you are used to eating. African Eggplant, for example, is also known as ‘bitter tomato’; aubergine écarlate, tomate amère, djakattou; nakati etíope, berenjena escarlata and 非洲紅茄.
“It comes from a plant that is about this big.” She motioned to about waist-high, determined to help me figure out this — her favorite vegetable,
“–and it has yellow flowers that bloom and then grow down.”
“And you like the plant?”
“Yes.” She said.
“And it grows here well? In this soil?”
“Yes, it does.” She said, hopefully. She gave me a hopeful sideways glance wondering if I would I buy the seeds for her…
“We make a relish of it. So we chop it up and we put it with the flavorings of the chickens. We sometimes add some leaves and onions.”
“You mean… you even eat the leaves?”
“Yes!” She said.
And so we sought to get the right seeds.
To grow them for the widow that had tried them before — and loved them.
Update: After growing a whole batch of this lovely purple vegetable, the children began to look towards their trusted adults to find different ways to prepare their new vegetable. They sauteèd the cut vegetable with tomatoes and other vegetables. Now we’ve learned that combination of late-summer vegetables – has a French name.
We were looking for a good eggplant recipe that is close to what the village is preparing – and now we’ve found one! Try this Easy Ratatouille from Gimme Some Oven!
Learn how we are working to fight nutritional deficiencies in the village through Rainbow Gardening: