I am always curious to try unusual fruits and vegetables, because this diversity shows how rich and extraordinary our world is. However, when it comes to introducing them into the daily menu, my brave curiosity stops only at tasting them, one bit at a time. As for now, my best source of 'exotic' fruits and vegetables is my Asian markt but I would be very curious to try other products from South-America for instance, which are almost impossible to be found in Germany in their fresh state.
Compared to California, the source of products distributed at the iconic Berkeley Bowl market, Germany has a very unfriendly weather therefore, creating local variants is almost impossible. Registered dietician Laura McLively created an unique book based on her own exploration of 'one of the nation's most renowed retailer of exotic fruits and vegetables'. Since the late 1970s, the Berkeley Bowl is following a very simple yet efficient motto: 'If we can find it, we'll buy it', offering to its customers unique and fresh products, mostly produced under the Californian sun.
The recipes created by Laura McLively sound very exotic, but as long as you have the right ingredients, especially spices, the preparation is going on smoothly and not too much time is required. The names of the recipes are entincing, each being an invitation to a delicious feast. Some of my favorite are: roasted chestnut chocolate tarte, abalone mushroom schnitzel, grilled cheese with mezuna, dates and goat cheese, banana blossom with glass boodles and crispy garlic, vanilla rhubarb jam, malanga masala latkes, persimmon gingersoup smoothie, chrysantenum greens and turnip fried rice, green papaya gazpacho. The selection is really exquisite and my tastebud imagination is soo limited to imagine all those flavors without trying them. A combination of meals for a full menu is also available.
Even if you cannot try all those flavors and special products, at least this book looks that if they were left on this earth, alongside with other interesting spices, you can try to match them and create unique bowls. The power of imagination is always on the side of those who dare.
The book will be released in the first part of April, so unfortunatelly there is no chance to try any of those unique fruits for this Tu B'Shvat holiday, but at least you can save some of the recipes for a late date.
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review