I came across a vegetable over the weekend that I had never seen before.
My friend Nevia No, one of the best farmers in the New York City farmers’ market system, was selling green luobo radishes, a Chinese heirloom variety. The green and white radishes are about the size of a baking potato and have a sweet and spicy flavor.
I have been eating them raw, but I just put one (chopped) into a chicken soup I made last night.
Possibly better than the flavor and novelty of the radishes is the reason why No is growing them.
“My mother grew up in North Korea, right along the Chinese border,” No said. “She would cross into China, pick these radishes, and go back home.”
“When was this?” I asked.
“Sixty years ago,” No said. “She told me to grow them.”
Thankfully, there’s no way No could say “no” to her mother.