chestnuts and artichoke

The Two New Foods I Tried (and What I Went Through to Eat Them)

“You are like a chestnut-burr, prickly outside, but silky-soft within, and a sweet kernel, if one can only get at it. Love will make you show your heart some day, and then the rough burr will fall off.” Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott



In the spirit of eating more new foods in 2016, chestnuts and artichokes are officially scratched off my “Never Tried” list. And let me tell you something about chestnuts and artichokes:

The process you have to go through to eat them?

Not easy.

Or fun.

At. All.

Let’s talk about chestnuts, shall we?

For nearly an hour, I scraped out the white flesh from the shells, burning my fingers and wasting more time as I peeled off another layer of skin after the bothersome things were finally out of the shells.

Then, thanks to my wonky fridge, they went moldy soon afterward . . .

crying dame
                                 Oh, the unfairness of it all!

The artichoke? My, my, where to begin . . .

Strolling along my farmers’ market one day, I came across artichokes.

Guess what? They were really, really cheap.

I grabbed one, thinking, “I’m just one person, and this looks like a single-serving size. Yippee!”

Being an artichoke newbie, I thought after the hassle of pulling and plucking, every part of the petal was edible.


Me? Disappointed? An understatement!

In a nutshell (ugh, scratch that idiom . . . makes me think of those complicated chestnuts!), after all my snipping and plucking and scraping and cutting, the prize is a teeny, tiny, dinky, itty-bitty heart that you can eat in half a bite—or puree and net maybe a tablespoon of a dip or sauce.

Now, I hate to admit this, because I liked these new flavors, and I love trying new things, but . . .

Chestnuts and artichokes?

Not worth the trouble.

At. All.

If I never roast, boil, snip, peel, chop, or scrape another one of these things again, I won’t lose any sleep.

Hey, I can always head to the store for a jar of artichokes should I get a hankering for some.

Chestnuts? Sure, let them roast on an open fire.

Just don’t expect me to shell them.


What about you?

What do you like to eat that takes a lot of effort to bite into—but you wouldn’t have it any other way because the deliciousness factor is sky-high?

crab(For me, that’s crab. Prepackaged and imitation varieties are an outrage! Every luscious, white morsel squeezed out and pried loose is worth a few cuts and pinched fingers.)


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