You don’t have to go exotic to get special and rare food. Some stuff are pretty ordinary looking, but just don’t have the popularity, despite their added features, as their more contemporary family members, like Bintje (potato), Kabocha (pumpkin) and Seckel pears.
A potato, but not an ordinary one. It was developed a century ago by a Dutch botanist-schoolteacher who named it for a star pupil, and because it’s not really starchy nor waxy, it’s perfect for french fries making. Connoisseurs of Belgian fries slice them thick, fry them twice, dip them in mayo, and accept no substitutes.
It looks quite a bit like Celery, but it’s closely related to the artichoke and despite its slightly bitter and herby taste, they are big in France, Spain, and Italy and go extremely well in wintry kind of dishes.
The Crosnes (pronounced crones) are from the same family the potatos come from and have a utty flavor and crunchy radishy texture, looking quite a bit like giner.
A squash that’s a bit sweeter than pumpkin, and it’s much better and tastier than most edible gourds on display at a farmer’s market near you.
A special “sugar-pear”, known for its grainy texture and spicy-sweet flavor.
A kind of Broccoli that actually tasted good, even to kids if they don’t hear the actual name of it. Its flavor is sweet and delicate and less bitter than most broccoli rabe.
A Jerusalem artichoke, but it’s neither that or from there. It’s from America and is actually a kind of sunflower, or girasole in Italian, and is nutty, healthy and satisfyingly crunchy.