The Produce Quiz – What Am I?

There is evidence that the Assyrians and ancient Persians ate me, but the Greeks were probably the first to cultivate me. The Romans even referred to me as the "Greek Nut". I do know that I originated in parts of Western Asian, and from there spread to the Mediterranean. Now I also grow in California, Australia and South America. I require warm weather to grow, and take up to five years to reach my fruit baring age. People who cultivate me now often use honey bees because I am genetically self-incompatible and need the assistance of bees for my pollination. The Hebrews used me as a symbol for haste because I blossom suddenly, but the Greeks and Spaniards used me as a symbol for good luck. Medieval Europeans used me instead of cow's milk in order to avoid the rules of fasting days. Pliny, Plutarch and the Englishman, Gerard, thought that I was a reliable cure for drunkenness although I make quite a fine liqueur. My culinary value is unmatched. I can be used in anything from salads or chicken dishes, to Danishes and syrups. I can be fuzzy, green, and liquid, or I can be fuzzy green and solid, or I can be brownish and solid. Some of my varieties are considered toxic because I contain prussic acid when raw, and so my bitter form is banned from sale in the United States, but my sweet side provides a nutritional powerhouse because I am packed full of calcium, fiber, folic acid, potassium and Vitamin E. Oh, and all that talk about water usage, phooey

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Produce Quiz courtesy of
Richard Liebowitz
Culinary Specialty Produce
1103

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