Ebony Edibles

Do you love to garden? Are you so spooky your green thumb is black? Well, then I have some lovely black fruits and vegetables for you to add to your goth garden.

Blackberries

Blackberries are probably the first black fruit to come to mind for most people.  They are fairly easy to find in supermarkets. What most people may not have tasted is a fresh berry direct from the vine ripened in the sun. There are different types which have different growing requirements.  A little research would be required to find the proper plant for your environment and soil. Or just speak to you local nursery. There are plenty of ways to enjoy these berries once you have them ready to harvest.  They tend to grow in large quantities so it’s best to find recipes that require a lot, like jam or (my favorite) pie!

Black Corn

Black corn is an heirloom plant. Those wishing to from it would need to special order seeds.  Interestingly it’s suggested that the ears be eaten young and fresh when still white.  Once the kernels mature to their darkest shape of purple-black they are best used for corn meal.  While the variety is relatively easy to grow, making your own corn meal sounds like a challenge.

Black Grapes

There are multiple varieties of black grapes.  My grandmother grew a type of black grape in her backyard.  To this day they are the sweetest and best tasting grapes I’ve ever had.  They were so huge they took two (or more) bites to eat.  Anywhere you can use a white or red grape you can substitute black. My sister and I would dine al fresco in the dirt under our grandmother’s vines. Where ever you live there is likely to be a variety that grows well.  You will need to purchase a plant from a nursery as most cannot be started from seed.

Black Kale

Black kale is not truly black, it’s a deeper blue-green than the curly kale you are probably accustomed to.  Originating in Italy the proper Italian name for this kale is cavolo nero, also known as lacinato kale or dinosaur kale because of the bumpy leaves resembling reptile flesh. Kale in general is one of the few plants that thrive in cold weather and is widely available in winter. Like other forms of kale, black kale is considered to be extremely healthy and has the same culinary uses. Black kale is sometimes considered a delicacy so you can feel really fancy when you serve your freshly grown, hand picked, and expertly prepared leaves.

Black Mint

There are multiple plants which go by the name black mint.  Only one is the super strong kick in the teeth mint you have been craving which is the true black mint.  A member of the well known peppermint family it can be used in many dishes and is especially suited to savory recipes. While mint is low-maintenance to grow it is also invasive.  It’s recommended that these herbs are grown in containers.  Peppermint plants cannot be started from seed so you will have to buy a small plant and start from there.  Once you have your own little bush you can enjoy the leaves at will.  What better to serve at a mad tea party than fresh picked black mint tea?

Black Radish

Black radishes may appear dark and scary on the outside, but they are bright white on the inside. However, don’t let that snowy flesh fool you, these babies bite back.  They can be used in recipes both raw and cooked.  Just be careful to have a balance of flavors so you aren’t overwhelmed.  Growing them is actually quite simple, they need very little land and lots of sunshine.  Good news is, if you love them, they grow quickly so you can enjoy them throughout spring.

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