Friday, August 24, 2012

It's a Boy!

So I've never walked through a grocery produce aisle and thought "hey, I wonder if my shopping basket is full of boy or girl veggies?"--until today. After tasting a free sample of eggplant parmesan at Whole Foods Market, I was interestingly informed that chefs often select for quality based of the supposed 'sex' of certain produce items. Which leads to... SEXIST COOKING!

Just kidding.

But really, a few popular plants produce distinct gender differences; so here's how to

 Determine the Sex of Your Produce!

Eggplant- Apparently for these guys, males are better (fewer seeds/less bitter).

Check for maleness by the "belly button" on the bottom of the plant (opposite end from the stem): males have a smaller, more circular 'button' while females often have one in the shape of a line or slit. I was also told that males may be more bulbous shaped, as females are overall more tubular.

Fennel- Again, the male version is more desirable.

Male fennel plants are usually wider and more bulbous as well; females are more slender.

Asparagus- both genders are equally palatable! I just thought it was neat that there was in fact a difference between male and female asparagus.
To distinguish, male asparagus plants would normally be thicker and a bit larger due to the fact that it does not produce seedlings. Thus, it expends no energy on this process and can allot more of its energy to growth.