I keep reading recently about 'forgotten vegetables'. Is this sudden interest in them a protest against creeping standardization and globalization or is it simply nostalgia for the past? I don't know. But there is even a real live forgotten vegetables association, launched ten years ago, and a 'festival of forgotten vegetables' is held every year in Beestel in Limburg. Jerusalem artichokes, salsify, cardoon, parsnips or perennial kale - they all take their place in an almost endless procession of bulbs, roots and leaves.
In the forgotten vegetables stories, they are lauded for their flavours - some on the sour side, others crisper - much as if they were vintage wines. The internet is bursting with recipes, cook books are dedicated to them and top chefs are including old-fashioned vegetables grown on Dutch soil in their favourite dishes. So what if they now disappear anyway? To be honest I doubt whether I would miss the taste of the Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip or gold-of-pleasure. But I would certainly miss all those lovely names that so enrich our languages.