I mean they just don’t want to be eaten. I guess no plants or animals do, with their little armour and devices meant to deter predators. But though coconuts need to be smashed and nuts have to be cracked, I would argue that spring vegetables have the most annoying and, you would think, effective, KEEP OUT coats of them all.
Still, we succeed in getting in there, and despite the title of this story, I always bother to. Not before reflecting each time on just what a pain in the ass to deal with.
I mean: artichokes. Seriously? They are like, only 25% edible. How hungry was the first person that took on the task of getting to the small, soft patch of flesh that was actually worth it. “Hey, here’s this thing that looks like a stone but it’s way more jagged. These “leaves” hurt and this stem is too hard to eat but once I cut those away…ah…this soft interior is OW! What is this thing I’m literally CHOKING ON. Out with you, um… “choke!” This part, everyone just eat this part, then.” Ugh.
Do you know you could die if you picked your own fiddleheads? Maybe? I don’t know the particulars because I’m no forager but I read articles that are like “Ha ha, remember though, ferns can be poisonous so make sure you’re picking the right ones and never eat fiddleheads raw you wouldn’t do that right? Haha.” Yeah, we all knew that, actually, NO, we didn’t but thanks, I guess we’ll proceed with extreme caution.
FAVA BEANS. WHERE IS THE BEAN PART? Within this pod AND under this skin? Yes! Oh, nope, well, sometimes they are, because that second skin is tender and fine so just eat it with the shell but sometimes it IS too hard so take off that shell too and then boil them and then YUMMMMM! SEE, THAT ONE BEAN IS JUST FOUR EASY STEPS AWAY!
Goddamn them all for tasting good, for having a texture worth savouring as much as their flavour, for being fantastic stewed, fried, or just doused in butter and vinegar. Cliché as it is, they do taste like spring, like the colour green, grassy, vegetal and slightly funky and raw (but don’t eat them raw, do you want to die?) in all the right ways. Get in there, go to battle, reap the rewards. And hell yes, grumble all the way, you’re not alone in this.