Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How well do you know your veggies? 23 quiz questions

I enjoyed perusing A Potted History of Vegetables: A Kitchen Cornucopia as much as I did its sister volume (A Potted History of Fruit), so I thought I would cobble together another quiz to test your knowledge of veggie arcana and lore. Many of the full-page, color plates in this lovely little volume of "dip-in trivia and essential facts" are from the Album Benary—vintage chromolithographs of vegetable varieties by Ernst Benary (1819-1893). Other images are drawn from the Collection du Règne Végétal compiled by Baron Joseph van Huerne (c. 1790-1820). True or false unless specified.
  1. Adding what to cooking water will keep cauliflower [Old English name "coleflower" or "cabbage flower"] from turning yellow? a) lemon juice, b) milk, c) either?
  2. Pumpkin seeds dating to 7000 BCE have been found in Mexican caves.
  3. A "walla walla" is a) a squash, b) an eggplant, c) an onion
  4. Carrots came to North America with Virginia colonists, who planted them in their kitchen gardens.
  5. A "grandpa admire" is a) a giant pumpkin, b) a very old looseleaf lettuce, c) a crookneck squash.
  6. The first type of eggplant to arrive in 16th-century English had small white fruits the size of hen's eggs; hence, the name.
  7. Onions were served to Ancient Egyptian priests to quash their libidos.
  8. Corn was introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus.
  9. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous.
  10. A marrow is a zucchini, but not all zucchinis are marrows.
  11. Corn can grow "as high as an elephant's eye" in 2 weeks.
  12.  The Greek word for fennel is marathon.
  13. Which mushroom is most nutritious, button, shitake, or portabello?
  14. What the heck is a mangel-wurzel? a) hybrid of beet and Swiss chard; b) a type of kohlrabi; c) a German potato cultivar
  15. In Russia, a pasternak denotes what vegetable? a) rutabaga; b) parsnip; c) turnip; d) yam
  16. What Hollywood legend was named Queen of the Artichoke by the town of Castroville, CA in 1947? a) Jane Russell; b) Marilyn Monroe; c) Kim Novak; d) Lucille Ball
  17. The Shakers were the first commercial producers of plant seeds in North America.
  18. Can you guess what was voted Britain's most unpopular vegetable?
  19. Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini are among the vegetables that provide more antioxidants when briefly boiled or steamed than when eaten raw.
  20. What salad vegetable was so popular with the Greeks that in 628 BCE they put an image of it on some of their coins?
  21. Generally speaking, the smaller the pepper, the hotter the taste.
  22. Most of potatoes' nutrients lie just below the skin, as well as the fiber.
  23. Sir Francis Drake was the first to bring back tomato seeds from the New World to Europe.
  1. Adding what to cooking water will keep cauliflower [Old English name "coleflower" or "cabbage flower"] from turning yellow? a) lemon juice, b) milk, c) either
  2. Pumpkin seeds dating to 7000 BCE have been found in Mexican caves. True.
  3. A "walla walla" is a) a squash, b) an eggplant, c) an onion (from the French island of Corsica no less)
  4. Carrots came to North America with Virginia colonists, who planted them in their kitchen gardens. True.
  5. A "grandpa admire" is a) a giant pumpkin, b) a very old looseleaf lettuce, c) a crookneck squash.
  6. The first type of eggplant to arrive in 16th-century English had small white fruits the size of hen's eggs; hence, the name. True.
  7. Onions were served to Ancient Egyptian priests to quash their libidos. False. They were not forbidden them because they were thought to be aphrodisiacs.
  8. Corn was introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus. False; It was the opposite. No record of corn survives elsewhere before Columbus brought it back to Europe.
  9. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous. True. (Take heed mystery writers: they contain enough oxalic acid to cause death.)
  10. A marrow is a zucchini, but not all zucchinis are marrows. True. A marrow is a wildly overgrown zucchini (while a small zucchini is called a courgette in England).
  11. Corn can grow "as high as an elephant's eye" in 2 weeks. False. It takes a tad longer—more like a season.
  12.  The Greek word for fennel is marathon. True. The 490 BC battle of the same name was fought in a field of fennel.
  13. Which mushroom is most nutritious, button, shitake, or portabello?
  14. What the heck is a mangel-wurzel? a) hybrid of beet and Swiss chard [see right]; b) a type of kohlrabi; c) a German potato cultivar
  15. In Russia, a pasternak denotes what vegetable? a) rutabaga; b) parsnip; c) turnip; d) yam
  16. What Hollywood legend was named Queen of the Artichoke by the town of Castroville, CA in 1947? a) Jane Russell; b) Marilyn Monroe; c) Kim Novak; d) Lucille Ball
  17. The Shakers were the first commercial producers of plant seeds in North America. True.
  18. Can you guess what was voted Britain's most unpopular vegetable? Brussels sprouts (doubtless because they're cooked to oblivion instead of roasted or by some other palatable method).
  19. Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini are among the vegetables that provide more antioxidants when briefly boiled or steamed than when eaten raw. True.
  20. What salad vegetable was so popular with the Greeks that in 628 BCE they put an image of it on some of their coins? celery (in Selununte, Sicily)
  21. Generally speaking, the smaller the pepper, the hotter the taste. True.
  22. Most of potatoes' nutrients lie just below the skin, as well as the fiber. True.
  23. Sir Francis Drake was the first to bring back tomato seeds from the New World to Europe. False. It was the Spanish conquistadores, who brought them from Central and South America.
How did you do?
You can continue exploring the joys of growing, preserving, and cooking all manner of vegetables right here! Left, the lowly turnip. According to the book, this root vegetable "suffered the indignity of overcooking, resulting in its still somewhat underrated reputation. This is a shame, because if harvested in springtime when small and either grated raw in salads, sautéed quickly in butter, or lightly steamed it is a delicious and subtle vegetable with tastes ranging from sweet to spicy." (I still think I'll pass.)

2 comments:

  1. The Green GoddessMay 13, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    I knew about mangel-wurzels because it figured in a song in "Animal Farm". I also knew about eggplants, Greek coins, and old pumpkin seeds. But I did not know Miss Monroe was connected to artichokes, and I thought a Grandpa Admire was a Betty Grable pinup!

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  2. We are honored to have your participation, GG!

    ReplyDelete