Okay, all you readers (particularly in LJ land!) perhaps you can answer a question for somebody who grows a lot of stuff for bugs and birds to eat, and very little (so far) for humans…
My vegetable experience is limited. Last year I did herbs, tomatoes and a couple kinds of peppers, and they all grew like lunatics, and there was way more than we could eat. (I also did cantaloupe, which grew like a lunatic, produced a bunch of melons, and we never did get one during the fifteen second window between unripe and rotting on the ground from over-ripeness…) This year, the same suspects–the cantaloupes volunteered–a couple more herbs, an Egyptian walking onion, and on a whim, I stuffed a couple of cloves of garlic in the ground a few months back.
Today, needing garlic, I pulled up a head of it. I was not expecting anything much, because the internet had informed me that garlic needs cold before it gets tasty. I was expecting a bland flavor akin to elephant garlic.
My garlic was approximately the size of a large peach pit, and when I peeled off a miniature clove and took a cautious nibble I went “BWHUUUUUHHHH!” and exhaled a wave of garlic intensity that caused cows to die a mile away.
Small it may be, but bland it is NOT. (It’s actually quite tasty, once you get past the bit with the death.)
Same thing with the jalapenos earlier this year, actually–Kevin roasted two on the grill, ate one, said the flavor was wonderful for the first tenth of a second and then the burning eclipsed it all. “They’re…delicious…” he wept, reaching for the second one, sweat pouring off his bald head like a man running around a field full of inexplicably dead cows.
Is this because it was a really dry spring and I didn’t water them enough? (I mean, they didn’t DIE…) Is the intensity of flavor caused by dryness hence smallness hence concentration? (Are vegetables at the supermarket just incredibly insipid?)
I mean, they’re delicious, just…damn, those are intense! Should I not be leaving the vegetables to fend for themselves quite so much?