Sunday, July 1, 2007
What's delicious and red all over?
Have you heard of the Japanese man who was convicted of eating his Caucasian dinner guest? Do you secretly admire Hannibal the Cannibal in Silence of the Lambs?
Wait, come back! Just kidding. The photo above is NOT human meat. It's not even meat. It's cut strips of beetroot. Rote Bete or Rande, German and Swiss-German for beetroot, is naturally very purplish red. It is sold shrink-wrapped in plastic in the cold veggie section of supermarkets here. I love it. You don't need to cook it or do anything with it -- but you can if you want -- it is naturally sweet and refreshing, but you need to slice off the skin or it might taste a tad earthy.
In a restaurant in Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, I once had a starter of cubed beetroot served in a wineglass with boiled shrimp and whipped cream. It was heavenly. No wonder it was used as an appetizer.
You can cut the beetroot into slices or strips or cubes, and dress it with lemon and sugar (or honey). Or savour it savoury with salt and a bit of raspberry vinegar or cider vinegar.
The first time I had boiled beetroot was many years ago in Montana, USA, in the food service hall of the University of Montana in Missoula. I was immediately taken by it.
The other red thing that I love so much is cherries. June/July is the season for cherries here. If you're pitting cherries with a little hand-held contraption, you need to be careful about white or pale clothing. It's alarming to get splashed with the concentrated red juice. But I love eating cherries au naturel (undressed cherries, that is, not me! Although eating cherries in the nude is not a bad idea, come to think of it, mmm; just take a shower after). Nothing like munching on a dozen of them after a savoury meal.
What are your favourite red things?