Okinawa Sweet Potato Want something new and exciting for dinner? Try these lavender Okinawa sweet potatoes...or the dozens of other exotic and heirloom vegetables we present for your consideration. Photo courtesy of




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ELIZABET TRAVIS is an Editorial Intern at THE NIBBLE.



July 2008

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Vegetables

A Glossary Of Exotic & Heirloom Vegetables

Page 2: How To Find Exotic & Heirloom Vegetables


CAPSULE REPORT: This is Page 2 of a 15-page glossary of a glossary of exotic and heirloom vegetables. Click on the black links below to see other pages.


Finding Exotic and Heirloom Vegetables

Exotic and heirloom vegetables are seasonably available, just like any plant. As with any other tomato, for example, you’ll find that the sweetest heirloom ones are grown in the summer. As for exotic vegetables, you can find them in many grocery stores, and especially “health food” markets. Some of the more popular ones are artichokes and greens such as bok choy, rapini and Napa cabbage. Some of the rarer varieties like salsify and lotus root may have to be purchased at specialty exotic food groceries or online.

Heirloom vegetables are not commonly found in a grocery store or at your local market. Rather, these varieties are more likely to be specially grown by farmers who sell them at farmers’ markets. The tomatoes are certainly the most popular, but you will find many different types of peppers, eggplants, corns and even asparagus to cook with and enjoy.

Today, many people are finding it fun and challenging to grow these vegetables themselves. You can have first hand access to an amazing collection of healthy and delicious vegetables all year round while brightening your green thumb, all in your very own backyard.

Buy Vegetables Online

Many types of exotic and heirloom vegetables can be bought at local farmers markets, and there are websites that sell great exotic and heirloom vegetables as well, including:

If you have a green thumb, you can try to grow your own. Seeds for just about any vegetable are available through online specialists. Just put the name of the vegetable in your favorite search engine and sources will pop up.

How to Enjoy Exotic and Heirloom Vegetables

As with most vegetables, the possibilities for cooking exotic and heirloom vegetables seem endless. Often, simple preparations are best to enjoy the novelty. Serving ideas are provided throughout the different sections, but here are some general guidelines.

  • Nearly all of the exotic vegetables are tasty when steamed. It is important to know whether or not the skin must be removed and also what parts of the plant are not edible. Many of these vegetables are actually the edible portions of larger plants, some are the roots, others are the stems.
  • One of the most rewarding things about using heirloom vegetables is the color and genuine flavor they provide. Heirlooms will never be grown out of season, so you will rarely find a mealy heirloom tomato or tasteless corn.
  • Most are affordable, so go ahead and have fun trying something new.


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© Copyright 2005-2018 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.