There’s been a fair amount written about trying different fruit veg to eat. Mark Diacono’s ‘a taste of the unexpected’ encourages us to eat Day Lily fritters and Fuchsia berries and James Wong is now working with Suttons, promoting seeds for Goji berries and Electric (mouth numbing) Daisies.
So yesterday, when a client asked me to dig up some Dahlias, we thought we’d have a go at cooking them to see if the tubers faired as well in the kitchen as they do in the herbaceous border.
I was baking potatoes last night, so popped a couple of tubers in the oven at the same time. I was quite curious to see how they’d cook, as they already seemed quite a bit more watery in texture than my Red Duke of Yorks. Well, although thoroughly cooked, they still had a crunchy bite but remained quite watery too. The nearest texture I can think of is rather akin to that of a cooked water chestnut. The flesh was fairly tasteless, but with a slightly flowery aftertaste, a bit like rose-water.
Not too convincing (my husband wouldn’t touch them!), but I’m going to persevere with a soup and possibly some bread. There isn’t too much written about eating the tubers, but some do suggest that heirloom varieties have a better flavour than more modern hybrids.
So do I want to grow these heirloom tubers to try out next year? I don’t think so. After my culinary experiments so far (and unless further experiments astound me), I think I’m going to stick to potatoes, and grow these watery tubers for their gorgeous blooms alone.
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