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Chicories are Trending

For those of you unacculturated to the wonderful universe that is Chicorylandia, we’re so glad you made it. For you who’ve been here before, welcome back to town. It’s a trendy little locale! A few weeks back, the NYTs even proclaimed chicory is “in season and in style”: And it had its very own hipster festival in Seattle: and social media presence #bitterisbetter and @chicoryweek.

But what is it? And what’s up with it? Chicories are a passion of these farmers of yours. They’re a big ol beautiful family with origins in Italy. They’re generally slightly bitter (but that doesn’t equal bad!), always leafy, and enjoyable raw or cooked. Frisee (aka curly endive), Belgian endive, escarole, and radicchio are all relatives found in the chicory family tree. If you’d like to eat them raw, a sweet and rich topping is recommended. Apples, pears, citrus, strong cheese, candied nuts, crème fraiche, fried bacon, and warm vinaigrettes are all stellar companions to these beautiful leaves when eaten in salad. If you cook them, the bitterness subsides and a nutty, earthiness shines through. Risottos, soups, and baked pastas are all traditional ways to show your regards to this winter hardy crew. Like I’ve said to our longer term farm share members, you like bitter things! Remember coffee and chocolate??? Don’t deny yourself the beauty and experience that is chicory indulging, just because you aren’t used to bitter in greens. It takes a little time, the right recipes, and an open mind, but you can do it! But if you’re still not convinced, we won’t judge you for eating bok choi this week instead.