I was ambling through the Copley Square Farmers’ Market in Boston’s Back Bay yesterday afternoon when I spotted something called “popcorn microgreens.”
Since popcorn is Michelle’s favorite food group, I had to try it. What if there was a vegetable that had the nutritional qualities of fresh greens but tasted like freshly made popcorn? It would revolutionize mealtime in our household!
I’m sorry to report that popcorn microgreens are not a substitute for a bowl of popcorn, but they are pretty cool on their own terms.
Popcorn microgreens are also known as popcorn shoots. The greens look like long blades of yellow-green grass, and, as the name suggests, are grown from popcorn kernels.
Farmer Scott Hurwitz of Silverbrook Farm in Dartmouth enjoys offering customers a sample. He advises you to taste the leaf first and finish off with the stem.
I follow instructions and nibble the leaf. It tastes bitter and grassy. Not as harsh as wheatgrass, but it has quite a bite.
I chew the stem. It’s surprisingly sweet, just as Hurwitz said. Not sweet like cake, but sweet like a really fresh stalk of celery. While it certainly doesn’t taste or crunch like popcorn, it does taste a tiny bit like corn on the cob. The juice from the microgreens coats your tongue and the sweet flavor linger in your mouth for a long time after you’ve swallowed the stem.
So what do you do with popcorn microgreens? Well, of course you can put them in a salad. Hurwitz says he likes to put them in the bottom of a bowl and pour chowder over the shoots.
I’m planning to stir fry some with garlic, onions, and other greens. I’ll be curious to see if the two flavors – grassy and sweet – are still detectible once these greens are cooked.
At $4.00 for a container, I’m probably not going to start gobbling popcorn shoots like handfuls of, well, popcorn, but I may try them again.
What about you? Have you eaten a bowl of popcorn microgreens lately?