It’s always fun exposing people to new foods. Even while I was at the store buying the ingredients for the tempeh and greens stew, it stirred up quite the conversation. The cashier asked why I was buying rhubarb in December. I explained to him that it’s not rhubarb, that it’s actually red chard. His response was a blank stare. I told him that red chard is a dark leafy green, like kale or collards. This was followed by, “Oh yeah, collards. We do need some good soul food here in St. Cloud.” Then when the tempeh was scanned through, I caught him wincing. I agreed with him that tempeh looks pretty weird, but it tastes really great. Both him and the bagger had reached a point of perplexity. I had definitely been labeled as a weird customer, and judging by their looks it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume they thought I was from another planet.
I understand that there are some foods that are totally weird, I too am still learning about new foods and testing my palate. I think we could all stand to browse through the produce aisle a bit more and pick something up we aren’t familiar with.
The tempeh and greens I married together resulted in a thick stew. The recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction. BUY the book!