Monthly Archives: January 2011

Vainilla/Mexican Vanilla/ Vanilla planifolia

Is Vanilla an Aphrodisiac or a Myth? Some foods are considered aphrodisiacs not because of their qualities as food, but for their symbolic shapes. This is not the case with Vanilla bean; in fact Vanilla is known to have a … Continue reading

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Hierba dulce/Sweet leaf of Paraguay/ Stevia rebaudiana

What is Stevia rebaudiana (Stevia), and what can this extraordinarily sweet-tasting herb do for you?Stevia was first discovered by Europeans when Spanish Conquistadors sent word to Spain that natives of South America used Sweet leaf to sweeten herbal teas. Stevia … Continue reading

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Hormigas Culonas/Big Butts Ants/ Atta laevigata

[Caution: The following post may be offensive if you are overly sensitive or have a weak stomach.] Your most vital nutritional needs in a survival situation are protein and fat. Most insects are rich in both. Turn off your cultural … Continue reading

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Culantro/Mexican coriander/Eryngium foetidum

You say Cilantro, I say Culantro. Why? Because Culantro is not Cilantro. Eryngium foetidum has long leaves with tapered tips and serrated edges. And Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum L. has bright green leaves and stems that resembles flat-leaf parsley. One detail … Continue reading

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Jaboticaba/Brazilian Grape Tree/ Myrciaria cauliflora

It’s just so amazing how Mother Nature provides us with natural sources of edible fruits and plants. Just so remarkable how things like that happen; it’s really a mystery to me. Just take a look at this beautiful tree, Oh … Continue reading

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Morro/Calabash Tree/Crescentia cujete

Have you ever wondered if the fruit of the Calabash tree is edible? Here’s the interesting answer to your question. Going back to my obsessed childhood memories, I remember we were quite lucky that my grandparents had a large open … Continue reading

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Sandiita-raton/Mexican Sour Gherkin /Melothria scabra

Have you ever had a mini Mexican Sour Gherkin aka Sandiita raton?  Me neither. But I’m really curious. I have heard that I can find it here at farmers’ market in Manhattan’s Union Square. I would definitely try to get … Continue reading

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Caigua/ Slipper gourd/Cyclantera pedata

The Caigua (pronounced kai-wa) is a vine grown for its small fruit, used as a vegetable. It is also known as Caigua, Achocha, slipper gourd or lady’s slipper.  Likely domesticated in the Andes, the Caigua is now grown many parts … Continue reading

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Dia de los Tres Reyes – Three Kings Day

–Officially called “The Epiphany of the Lord,” this feast celebrates the epiphany (manifestation) of Christ to the Gentiles, symbolized by Christ’s manifestation to the Magi (Wise Men). The feast originally was more closely connected to Jesus’ baptism, the primary theme … Continue reading

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Uva de playa/Seagrape/La Coccoloba uvifera

The sea grape is native to Central and South America. It extends south as far as northern Peru and Brazil. The sea grape is now widely grown around the world in tropical and subtropical areas such as Hawaii, southern Florida, … Continue reading

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