Sunday, August 23, 2009

Found a new vegetable !

Somewhere in my mind I have linked Maori with Pork and Puha and boil ups using puha as a vegetable. Don't know if this is true, a cultural stereotype or just plan myth. It is included in Andrew Crowe's classic book about edible NZ plants as been eaten by the Maori. (picture ref.)

It is quite a common plant, also known as sow thistle, as when it is broken it exudes a sticky white sap that is incredibly bitter (is in theory a liver tonic). There are other plants that are similar such as Pickly Sow Thistle and Perennial Sow Thistle.

I could never figure out what anybody could bear to eat this most bitter plant, which raw tastes as bad as, if not worse than bitter lettuce. Over the weekend I spent time on my brewing hobby. Tasted a brew, hoping to bottle it, made from Myrtle and Puha. The Myrtle was supposed to be bitter, but it turns out that I should have been using Bog Myrtle! which is apparently a completely different plant! So when I tasted the beer there was no bitterness. I then and collected some Puha and other plants in this group. Boiled then up with some extra sugar (as to not weaken the beer). Tasted this brew, to my amazing no bitterness at all. I even ate some of the boiled leaves. No bitterness at all. In the end I picked a few dandelions (with roots attached) and this created a strong bitterness, so once boiled tipped it into the brewing carboy.

S0 once these plants are cooked they have no bitterness. So next time I boil vege's which is not something I tend to do, I will add in some Puha, as we often have it growing under the trampoline and along the hedge where the mower can't get it.

No comments:

Post a Comment