Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reinventing the iceberg

I was reading about the iceberg lettuce. Yes, that bland and unexciting iconic American vegetable that many like us grew up with. Before worldlier lettuces like endive, arugula, romaine and butterhead became available, the ubiquitous iceberg was found in every kitchen in America, at the ready for shredding into salads and stuffing into sandwiches.

When the other fancy lettuces appeared, the iceberg got sidelined in it's own native land. Fortunately, it found new fans in the Far East. The Chinese stir fry and braise the iceberg, turning the boring vegetable into something exciting to tease the tastebuds. Creative cooks turn them into edible cups for minced meat or wrap savoury fillings in the delicate leaves, transforming them into delicious food parcels.

As they gained popularity worldwide, better varieties were developed. Now, they have become a profitable crop in many countries and we can enjoy the crisp iceberg all year round. It has found its way into salads, stir fries and sandwiches here in Singapore.

This goes to show that when ying meets yang, new ideas will be born.

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