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Old 11-14-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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Swiss Chard Question

I tried swiss chard for the first time. The kind with the dark green leaves. One batch was boiled the other was stir fried. It had a musty sour kind of taste. Does it normally taste this way or did I just get a bad batch?

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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I tried swiss chard for the first time. The kind with the dark green leaves. One batch was boiled the other was stir fried. It had a musty sour kind of taste. Does it normally taste this way or did I just get a bad batch?
Chard generally tastes a lot like spinach.

Try sauteeing it with garlic in a little olive oil.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Chard generally tastes a lot like spinach.

Try sauteeing it with garlic in a little olive oil.
+1 and I always add a few red pepper flakes.

Did you wash it well?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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It has a distinctive taste, sometime described as bitter, but if you survey for reactions to chard, you quickly come to suspect that it's another leafyy vegetable like cilantro, with some people liking it, some almost made ill by it, and some thinking it has little taste. Many people consider it to taste sweet.

Some people find cilantro "soapy" or buggy. It's not known for sure why. It might be genetic. It also might be according to one's past food experience. The fat compounds that contribute to flavor can combine so that, to one person, they are like a food with which they are already familiar, and the first time they taste it, they put it into the food category. Or they have no experience with similar flavors, and their brain puts it into the chemical/cleaner category. People do report eventually restting their taste to appreciate cilantro.

Now, kale doesn't suffer from many people disliking it. Maybe a different array of flavor elements. Neither does collard, but I think most people encounter collard greens in a richer kind of dish with stock, bacon, etc., so it comes off as clearly a food. Chard might just be out of play for you, unless you're prepared to tough it out, trying it in various recipes for a while. Probably not worth it, when there are so many other good greens.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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In South Africa the spinach sold is actually Swiss Chard and we get Baby Leaf Spinach that is actually spinach. Crazy!
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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I'm one that dos not like Swiss chard but it may have been the way mom prepared it. Frankly I haven't tried it as suggested here to taste the actual flavor of the green. I suspect it won't make a big difference in my opinion.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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Swiss Chard is great in Quiche and with cheese sauce in pancakes :) Actually it's good with cheese in many ways.
We also make a cooked relish with it. Fried onion, tomatoes, Chard and flavour it with salt, pepper and chillies. We eat this with pap (almost like polenta)
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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I love Swiss Chard--but I grow it, so I'm not familiar with the Chard one gets in the store. I do know I don't like kale except from my garden.

When I prepare Swiss Chard, I do remove the ribs (I've made refrigerator pickles from the ribs--some people bake the ribs or use them like celery). I usually steam Chard, but also like it stir fried (I often eat it for breakfast). I make pesto using chard. I also like this recipe:


Swiss Chard tart:

Recipe Details

I usually make a whole-wheat crust and put it in a spring form pan.

We have a lot of chard--it is frost hardy so we harvest it until the snow flies. I use it instead of spinach.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:52 PM   #9
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In South Africa the spinach sold is actually Swiss Chard and we get Baby Leaf Spinach that is actually spinach. Crazy!
Now isn't that remarkable. I looked at the S.A. Agriculture Information Service brochure titled "Spinach." First of all, the photograph looks all the world like Swiss Chard. It is certainly not in any way Spinacia oleracea. The text makes no acknowlegement that there might be anything else called spinach, but it does state that spinach (the Swiss chard looking thing they're talking about) is often confused with Swiss Chard. Okay. They're in the same family, and "perpetual spinach" is one name for chard. Other references note that Swiss chard, Beta vulgaris, is incorrectly called spinach in S.A. I'd show a photo of the S.A. "spinach," but I can save the space. Just look at a photo of Swiss chard. Sorry Pretoria government ag guys. It's Swiss chard.

In another place, I do see instructions for growing "English spinach" in South Africa, and it appears to be Spinacia oleracea, the spinach we know outside S.A. So it appears that chard or a close cultivar became the "spinach" of S.A. Spinach doesn't do well in hot weather, goes to seed quickly, but Swiss chard is perfectly happy in the heat and is favored here in Texas.

You might indeed be getting genuine spinacia "baby spinach," since it would fall into the microgreen category grown in greenhouse.

Actually, I prefer "Malabar spinach," the vine Basella alba, no relation to spinach, to spinach. It likes heat and humidity, and the leaves don't cook down to mush like spinach can. Grows easily and often reseeds itself.

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Old 11-15-2012, 12:38 AM   #10
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Now isn't that remarkable. I looked at the S.A. Agriculture Information Service brochure titled "Spinach." First of all, the photograph looks all the world like Swiss Chard. It is certainly not in any way Spinacia oleracea. The text makes no acknowlegement that there might be anything else called spinach, but it does state that spinach (the Swiss chard looking thing they're talking about) is often confused with Swiss Chard. Okay. They're in the same family, and "perpetual spinach" is one name for chard. Other references note that Swiss chard, Beta vulgaris, is incorrectly called spinach in S.A. I'd show a photo of the S.A. "spinach," but I can save the space. Just look at a photo of Swiss chard. Sorry Pretoria government ag guys. It's Swiss chard.

In another place, I do see instructions for growing "English spinach" in South Africa, and it appears to be Spinacia oleracea, the spinach we know outside S.A. So it appears that chard or a close cultivar became the "spinach" of S.A. Spinach doesn't do well in hot weather, goes to seed quickly, but Swiss chard is perfectly happy in the heat and is favored here in Texas.

You might indeed be getting genuine spinacia "baby spinach," since it would fall into the microgreen category grown in greenhouse.

Actually, I prefer "Malabar spinach," the vine Basella alba, no relation to spinach, to spinach. It likes heat and humidity, and the leaves don't cook down to mush like spinach can. Grows easily and often reseeds itself.

Our "spinach" is indeed Swiss Chard and the Spinach is grown indoors because it's so hot here. So if you ever visit SA and order spinach when eating out expect chard!
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