Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Blind Taste Test

"The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies...
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The onion has as many pages as War and Peace, every one of which is poignant enough to make a strong man weep, but the various ivory parchments of the onion and the stinging green bookmark of the onion are quickly charred by belly juices and bowel bacteria. Only the beet departs the body the same colour as it went in.
At birth we are red-faced, round, intense, pure. The crimson fire of universal consciousness burns in us. Gradually, however, we are devoured by parents, gulped by schools, chewed up by peers, swallowed by social institutions, wolfed by bad habits, and gnawed by age; and by the time we have been digested, cow style, in those six stomachs, we emerge a single disgusting shade of brown.
The lesson of the beet, then, is this: hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown."
Thoughts on Beta vulgaris from Tom Robbins 'Jitterbug Perfume'.
Yesterday, as part of the annual harvest, thanksgiving and stocktaking, I invited a few friends to participate in a blind taste-testing on the three varieties of beetroot that I grew this year. (pictured below in exhibit a)

The beets were cut into bite sized pieces and baked in foil with just a drizzle of oil for about an hour at gas mark 4.

With points awarded 3 for the favourite and one for next best, the results were as follows: Lutz Winter Keeper was a clear winner with 15, Detroit Red Globe second with 7 and Long Blood Red close behind with 6.

No comments: