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Friday, October 19, 2012

Considering collard greens


Collard greens, the leafy greens of the Brassica Oleracea species to which cabbage and broccoli also belong, are the ultimate Southern vegetable. Think spinach's unkempt, rather large, rough-and-tumble cousin who's spent a lot of time kicking around in the dirt. Along with fried chicken, slow-cooked vegetables, biscuits, and field peas, collards form the cornerstone of Southern cuisine. So when I say they stink like fetid ass when they cook, I do so with great deference for a cuisine outside my Northern culinary roots.

Collards — like opossum stew, fermented whale blubber, and stinky tofu — take some getting used to for those mere mortals whose last names are not Zimmern or Bourdain. Who in their right mind dives into a bowl of snotty natto (fermented soybeans) unless their mommy has been feeding it to them since they were toddlers? Not having been reared on puréed collards, the smell and taste of the greens were a wee upsetting and perplexing to me upon first exposure.

Read the full story by Nick Oltarsh here.

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