The foods of winter! Here’s one you may never have seen before. I certainly hadn’t. Introducing TATSOI:
The dark green mass on the right of the top shelf is a SINGLE HEAD of this trendy new vegetable, a type of bok choy. (That big head is $2.50, just to give you an idea.) The small head rather forlornly leaning to its left is a small single head. Here’s its specs, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Tatsoi (Brassica narinosa or Brassica rapa var. rosularis) (塌棵菜, 瓢儿菜, 乌塌菜, or 塌古菜 in Chinese; and タアサイ or 塌菜in Japanese), also called spinach mustard, spoon mustard, or rosette bok choy, is an Asian variety of Brassica rapa grown for greens. This plant has become popular in North American cuisine as well, and is now grown throughout the world.
“The plant has dark green spoon-shaped leaves which form a thick rosette. It has a soft creamy texture and has a subtle yet distinctive flavour.
“It can be grown to harvestable size in 45–50 days, and can withstand temperatures down to –10°C (15°F). Tatsoi can be harvested even from under the snow.”
I can vouch for the flavor: if you like bok choy this is even better. And that last statistic, about its being able to flourish down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit is what’s assured it (until tonight, at least) its place in the Northampton Winter Market (full story about the market over here on sister blog Touch2Touch) where this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.