The vegetables : A vegetable is the party edible an vegetable plant. This definition, taken up by most French-language dictionaries, must be extended to edible mushrooms, some of which are cultivated (Paris mushroom, shiitake, etc.) and some algues, whose consumption is the most developed in the Far East. This part can be a the root (carrot), a stem (celery), a leaf (lettuce), a flower (artichoke), A fruit (p), A bulb (onion), A tuber (potato) or a seed (corn).
Vegetables are of considerable importance in the human diet. On the plan nutritional, they contain nutrients other than those present in products of animal origin: carbohydrates, protein plants, mineral salts, group B vitamins et fibers which facilitate digestive transit. On the gastronomic level, they bring aromas powerful et specific. In food, they allow a great diversity of preparations (preserves, garnishes simple or compound, accompagnement, appetizers, soups, Etc.).
Definition of vegetable : The term also designates by metonymy the vegetable plants grown for vegetable production.
In culinary parlance, "vegetable" is opposed to "fruit", but in some cases the same product can be cooked or consumed either as a vegetable or as a fruit. He is also opposed to condiment plant, whose culinary use is different, even if they are also vegetable plants.
In the field of cooking and gastronomy, “vegetable” can also have a broader meaning, designating “any non-meat and unsweetened food accompanying a dish of meat or fish during a meal”. In addition, they are generally “fruits” in the botanical sense which constitute the accompaniment in these particular salty dishes known as “sweet and savory” (sweet and savory cooking).
But the term "vegetable" (the word "vegetable" comes from the Latin vegetable, pod plant) can also have a more restricted meaning when it does not concern certain starchy foods (potato, rice, etc.), meat or fish being typically accompanied by “vegetable” and starch.
The production of fresh vegetables intended for marketing is carried out in France by market gardening, which is a branch of horticulture, itself belonging to agriculture. A significant part of the vegetables is produced in home vegetable gardens and essentially self-consumed. Vegetables intended for storage (canning, deep freezing) and pulses are grown in the open field, and their harvest is most often mechanized.
The diversity of vegetables available in our time is impressive, although consumption is mainly concentrated on a few species, in order: potatoes, cassava, Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, onions...
If we refer to Europe, certain vegetables have been known and consumed since Antiquity. These are beans, lentils and peas, turnips, headed cabbages, onions, carrots and the much forgotten parsnip.
Other vegetables were introduced long ago, from the tenth century, from the Orient: artichokes, spinach, eggplants, etc.
A major wave of introduction followed the discovery of America (1492): tomatoes, beans, peppers et peppers, squash ...
Subsequently, a small number of new vegetables appeared, either following an introduction, for example crosne, a plant native to the Far East, or because they were "invented" like the endive discovered by a Belgian gardener in the middle of the XNUMXth century.
Origin of vegetables : The main cultivated vegetables are distributed as follows, according to the main areas of origin:
- Middle East : ail, beet, carrot, cabbage, lettuce, lens, turnip, onion, parsley, leek, peas, chickpeas, radish.
- Africa: calabash, cornilla, yam (Dioscorea cayenensis Lam.), Okra.
- Northern China: Chinese cabbage, cucumber, wax squash, Japanese crosne, ginger, azuki bean, turnip, Chinese radish, soybean.
- South-East Asia: eggplant, yams (Dioscorea alata Lam.), Taro.
- Mesoamerica (North America / Central America): chayote, squash (Cucurbita pepo, C. maxima, C. moschata, C. ficifolia), common bean, lima bean, maize, cassava, sweet potato.
- South America (Andes): squash (Cucurbita maxima), common bean, lima bean, chili, pepper, potato, quinoa, tomato, Jerusalem artichoke.
Relationship between vegetables and fruits : "Fruit" and "vegetable" have a double meaning depending on whether we place ourselves in the context of cooking or botany.
In the botanical sense: In botany, “vegetable” designates the fruit of legumes or Fabaceae, which is also called “pod”.
According to botanists, a fruit, fleshy or not, is the structure resulting from the mature evolution of the ovary, whose role is to protect and ensure the distribution of seeds.
Among the fruits in the botanical sense we can cite: avocado, peas, corn on the cob, cucumber, nuts, olive, pepper, pumpkin, sunflower seed and tomato.
Many botanical fruits are inedible and can even be poisonous.
In the culinary sense: The term "fruit" designates fleshy fruits, but sometimes also other parts of plants, which are at the same time edible, of pleasant taste, which one can generally eat raw and which are suitable for the preparation of. sweet dishes and desserts, eg strawberries, peaches, plums, etc.
Arbitrarily, from a culinary point of view, one generally distinguishes the potato, present all year round and the fresh seasonal vegetables - called "green" -, the dried vegetables and the salads.
(See Chicory, Cress, Lettuce, Chews).
Conversely, many edible botanical fruits, such as tomatoes, eggplants or peppers, are prepared without sugar and are usually used in savory recipes. They are therefore considered in cooking as vegetables, and more particularly fruit vegetables.
Thus, a part of a plant can perfectly well be referred to as a fruit in a scientific context, even if it is prepared in the kitchen like a vegetable.
In some cases, the distinction between fruit and vegetable becomes delicate, certain fruits can be eaten as vegetables, for example in the case of melon, a fruit commonly eaten as a starter, or certain fruits cooked as an accompaniment to meat dishes, for example duck à l'orange, and conversely certain vegetables, sometimes naturally sweet, can be used as a dessert, for example sweet potato.
The question of whether the tomato was a fruit or a vegetable was brought in 1893 to the Supreme Court of the United States. The latter unanimously decided in the Nix / Hedden case that, under the 1883 law on customs duties applicable to imported products, the tomato should be treated as a vegetable and taxed as such. The Court recognized, however, the botanical fruit character of the tomato.
On the other hand, the European Commission has decided to assimilate certain vegetables to fruit, including tomatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes when they are used in the composition of jams, although the last two are not botanical fruits. It was actually a question of complying with Directive 2001/113 / CE of December 20, 2001, which defines jam as a mixture of sugar and fruit, while preserving certain local traditions of production of jams based on vegetables. This is particularly the case of the Doce de cenoura, Portuguese carrot jam.
Vegetable categories : Depending on the part of the plant that is eaten and its characteristics, there are several categories of vegetables.
- The dried vegetables are those whose seeds harvested at maturity are consumed. Their low water content, around 12%, allows them to be stored for a long time away from humidity. They are mainly represented by legumes: broad beans, beans, lentils, split peas, chickpeas, soybeans.
- Fresh vegetables or green vegetables can be distinguished according to the harvested plant organ:
- the leafy vegetables, of which one consumes the leaves, sometimes only the blade or the petiole. These are first of all salads (endive, lettuce, lamb's lettuce, romaine, escarole, etc.), often accompanied by seasoning due to their natural blandness, but also celery, cabbage, spinach, fennel, sorrel, perry (chard), rhubarb, etc. Also included in this category are various kinds of tropical vegetables called brèdes.
- stem vegetables, of which parts of the processed stem, such as spears, are eaten: asparagus, bamboo shoots, leek, the tuberized “root” of kohlrabi (which corresponds to the base of the stem transformed into a reserve organ ), etc.
- Amaryllidaceae bulbs (often also used as condiments): garlic, shallot, onion, etc.
- flowering vegetables whose inflorescences or bud flowers are eaten: cauliflower, broccoli, capers, or the floral receptacle of the young flower head: artichoke.
- the root vegetables : beetroot, carrot and parsnip, turnip, radish, salsify, scorsonere, tuberous chervil, etc.
- the fruit vegetables, eaten as vegetables, but constituting the fruit, in the botanical sense, of the plant: eggplant, avocado, chayote, cucumber, pickle, squash, zucchini, okra, melon, olive, watermelon, pepper, pepper, tomato, etc. Pods harvested before maturity are also attached to this category: peas (snow peas), green beans (snap beans).
- the " Herbs », Used as condiments: chervil, chives, tarragon, bay leaf, parsley, etc.
- tubers, organs resulting from the tuberization of underground stems, are distinguished by their high content of reserve carbohydrates (starch or inulin): Japanese crosne, yam, Peruvian oca, sweet potato, potato, Jerusalem artichoke, etc.
Vegetable colors : The green color of many vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, is due to the presence of a green pigment, chlorophyll. This is affected by pH and turns olive green under acidic conditions and light green under alkaline conditions. Some of these acids are released in the steam during cooking, especially if it is covered cooking.
The yellow / orange colors of fruits and vegetables are due to the presence of carotenoids, which are also affected by cooking processes or changes in pH.
The red / blue coloration of some fruits and vegetables (e.g. wild blackberries and red cabbage) is due to anthocyanins, which are sensitive to changes in pH. When this is neutral, the pigments are purple, red when they are acidic and blue when they are basic. These pigments are very water soluble.
See as well Vegetable under Mouth slang.
Quote from the French writer Michel Houellebecq: “Sometimes I brought slices de ham for to accompany vegetables in boîte of the office; even once I bring myself a garlic sausage. "In serotonin (2019, Flammarion Editions).
Culinary uses of vegetables : Vegetables can be use raw ou cooked. They are most often used asaccompagnement du flat main and can be prepared and cooked with the meat (pot au feu) or separately (couscous). They can also be use en entry, for example dishes from rawness, or in the form of Soupes and soups. salads are usually a separate dish.
Some may be use raw ou cooked, but most require baking.
The consumption of vegetables has long had a local character, the peasants consuming products adapted to local climatic conditions.
With the development of means of transport, the exchange of vegetables has greatly developed, at ever greater distances. This is how the French consumer can be offered, out of season, green beans products, for example, at Kenya and transported by air. Migration also contributes to popularize vegetables more or less exotic.
There are multiple modes of baking applicable to vegetables: water or in English, steam, stir-fried, hash browns, frits, braised, grilled in four...
Vegetables are sometimes eaten whole, for example potatoes in a field dress. Most often they should be peeled et trimmed en parts, for example in washers. as sticks (fries), In dice. as julienne (fine strips) or in brunoise (small dice). One can use for this purpose a paring knife or utensils such as mandolin or a roping.
The cooking in English (cooked directly in thewater) cause them to lose part of their useful soluble substances (mineral salts et vitamins soluble); they lose less if they are cooked steamed ou steam.
They often serve as garnish to one meat or to a fish, but they constitute, on their own, complete dishes: soupes, gratins, pies, etc.
Cheese, eggs, cream, Butter ou Sauces, allow them to lier or from raise le taste when they are a little bland.
The vegetables frais Peuvent être preserved several days (preferably packed if they have a Odour forte) at the bottom of the fridge without losing their qualities nutritional. The vegetables frozen have the advantage of being available all year round; they are excellent from the point of view nutritional but much less from an angle culinary.
Thanks to progress in conservation and packaging, as well as imports of vegetables " exotic », They are marketed all year round, but they are always better in season. Today, new vegetables, coming from other continents, are increasingly needed: plantain, chayote, okra, Yam, soybean,…
Vegetables play a very important role, associated with cereals and fruitsWithin diets vegetarians.
Vegetables are also the basis of vegetable juice, which juices can also be used in the composition of cocktails.
Finally, some vegetables have always been used as natural dyes (food or others) : spinach, carrots, Red beets, peppers, tomatoes, corn,…
- Thorny cardoon
- Carrot of Receivables
- Chinese celery
- Water celery
- Celery branch
- Blessed thistle
- Lamb's quarters
- Goosefoot of Berlandier
- Chevrier (bean)
- Cabbage - Illustrated list of cabbage varieties
- White cabbage
- Cantonese cabbage
- Chinese cabbage
- Common cabbage
- Brussels sprouts
- Chou frisé
- Kale cabbage
- Palm cabbage
- Palm kale
- Cima di rapa
- Claytone from Cuba
- Beef heart (tomato)
- Palm heart
- Armenian cucumber
- Antilles cucumber
- Gatte horn
- Wax squash
- Ivy squash
- Siam squash
- Mexican squash
- Sponge squash
- Gem squash
- Snake gourd
- Nice round zucchini
- Trumpet zucchini
- Zephyr zucchini
- Cubanelle (chili)
- Bean - Varieties and cultivation of beans
- Shelling bean
- Adzuki bean
- White bean
- Pamiers coconut bean
- Yin Yang dwarf coconut bean
- Spanish bean
- Soissons bean
- Bean kilometer
- Ingot bean
- Black beans
- Butterfly bean
- Pinto bean
- Risina bean
- Rice bean
- Roman bean
- Pink bean of Eyragues
- Dry bean
- Tepary bean
- Bean urd
- Green Bean - Main Varieties of Green Beans and Illustrated Plate of Green Beans
- Shelling beans - Characteristics of the main types of shelling beans
- Shelling beans - Dishes and specialties based on shelling beans on different continents
- Sea beans
- Filet beans
- Honey Crunch
- Hukarei (turnip)
- Pak-choy (cabbage)
- Pasilla (chili)
- Savage patience
- Lumignano peas
- Aji chirel pepper
- Cherry Pepper
- Chilli bishop's headdress
- Pepper From Árbol
- Chili Hatch
- Mirasol pepper
- Chili pepper
- Pepper penis
- Pequin pepper
- Royal pepper
- Montmagny dandelion
- Plantain (banana)
- Vegetable plants - List of recommended vegetable plants in the De Villis chapter
- Blue polka dots
- Square peas
- Split pea
- Chickpeas - History of the chickpea, world production and tradition
- Cultivated peas
- Cultivated peas - History of cultivated peas
- Pigeon peas
- Greedy peas
- Marrowfat peas
- Dry peas
- Chinese pepper
- Chocolate pepper
- Potato - Characteristics of the main varieties of potatoes
- Potato - Potato scoring criteria
- Early potato from Noirmoutier Island
- Darphin apples
- New potatoes
- Uncooked Sautéed Potatoes
- Steamed potatoes
- Duchesse Potatoes
- Crushed apples
- French fries
- Magic apples
- Maxim's apples
- Straw apples
- Pont-Neuf apples
- Mashed potatoes
- Salardaise apples
- Lyon-style fried potatoes
- Puffed apples
- Savoyard tartiflette apples
- Pont-Neuf (apples)
- Pumpkin - Plate illustrated with the main varieties of pumpkins
- Bamboo shoots
- Tomato - Aspects, culture and economy
- Tomato - List of tomato-based specialties
- Tomato - Illustrated list of tomato varieties
- Blue tomato
- Cherry tomato
- Tomato tree
- Black tomato Kumato
- Olive tomato
- Rose tomato from Bern
- Dried tomato
- Green tomato
- Trebons (onion)
- Tukneneng (Filipino cuisine)