This is not your mother’s rutabaga

riverreflectionsYou saw us sitting at the Jolly Pumpkin bar Shameless style yesterday. Drinkin’ again, roight? Not that there’s anything wrong with a wee bit of beer/whine late in the late afternoon on a very productive Sunday but we were also looking for a bit of a snack. One to share. I wasn’t as hungry as Lizard Breath and I was struggling to process the menu. Probably not the cheese assortment because I only do goat cheese, etc., in any format other than melted on top of things, long story there and I’m prob’ly *not* particularly lactose intolerant.

Anyway, we got the Farmer’s Fritto, which is tempura fried whatever vegetable is in season. If you know anything about the Great Lake State, you will know that the main “in season” veggies at this time of the year are root veggies. Our server/bartender may have been pre-empting potential complaints by telling us that the fritto vegetable of the day was rutabaga. Okay. We’ll talk about pasties (the food not the thingies) another day but although I readily agreed to get the Farmer’s Fritto even though the veggie was rutabaga, I have to admit that my brain did a little mini-dip back into my childhood encounters with rutabaga.

As in YUCK! The Commander would occasionally serve us rutabaga in a mashed form. I think some sort of sweetening was added, like brown sugar maybe? I did NOT like rutabaga in that form factor and I am not sure that brown sugar (or whatever it was) enhanced it. I actually think I remember that nobody bugged me to finish my mashed rutabaga when we had it. I suspect this was a dish she remembered from her childhood, where she lived with her parents, siblings, and a set of grandparents on a farm near Detroit that later got razed so someone could build a dern Burger King. But I bet the rutabaga that family used came straight out of the garden (or maybe a root cellar), definitely not from an A&P or Red Owl grocery store in Michigan’s eastern upper peninsula. Again, rutabaga is a root vegetable, but who knows how long those rutabagas had been traveling around. So blech.

The Jolly Pumpkin’s rutabaga Farmer’s Fritto was EXQUISITE! I dunno where they got those rutabagas or maybe it was just how they processed them, thinly sliced and fried with tempura batter. I wish I had taken a pic because they were so good.

2 Responses to “This is not your mother’s rutabaga”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Preparation and added ingredients are key! There are many foods that I thought I disliked, only to find out that I loved them in a different form.

  2. Tonya Says:

    I’ve never in my life had a rutabaga. (Nor a turnip, for that matter). My mother hated them so she never cooked them, so they’ve never been anything that I’ve even given a thought to.