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other vegetables without apparent deterioration. These vegetables are often desiccated, and in this way can be kept for a much longer period. Unfortunately no method of desiccation has been developed which preserves entirely the palatability of the vegetable, although its nutrient properties, which are perhaps the least important of its properties in many respects, are preserved to a certain extent by desiccation.
We may, however, leave out of consideration the desiccation of fresh vegetables. Certain of the vegetables above mentioned naturally become desiccated on maturity as in the case of peas and beans, but then they are removed from the category of succulent vegetables. Green Indian corn is also often dried, but in this process its palatability is to a certain extent impaired even when it is prepared for cooking in such a way as to restore practically all of the water which has been lost. Succulent vegetables are eaten either in a raw state or after cooking. For instance radishes and vegetables of this class are rarely cooked. On the other hand, potatoes, peas, and beans are always cooked and practically never eaten raw. Green Indian corn is also universally cooked before eating. There are other vegetables which are sometimes eaten raw and sometimes cooked, as, for instance, the turnip, while on the other hand the beet, which is very sweet and naturally would be considered a suitable food for eating in a raw state, is always cooked before it is consumed.
Artichoke. This vegetable, while not very extensively grown in the United States, is cultivated to a very extensive degree in Europe. The tubers of the artichoke (Cynara Scolymus) are essentially a carbohydrate food, growing underground, and thus belong, in a measure, to the same class as the potato, the yam, and the beet. The carbohydrates which are present in artichokes do not contain very much starch. In this respect they differ from the potato and the yam. When the starch of the potato and yam is converted by fermentation or otherwise into sugar it forms chiefly dextrose or maltose. On the other hand, when the carbohydrates of artichokes are converted into sugar they form chiefly levulose. The principal part of the carbohydrate is known as inulin or levulin. The artichoke can be easily kept over a long period of time, and may remain without much detriment in the ground, where the winters are not severe, from autumn until spring. After harvesting it may be kept for some time without any very great loss in its food value.
In the following table are given the data showing the composition of the artichoke, harvested in the autumn and also in the spring:
Inulin or levulin,.
Sugar, starch, etc.,.
(Behrend, J. für Landwirtshaft, vol. 52, p. 134, 1904.)
The above data show that the artichoke, like the potato, is a food product poor in protein and in fat and rich in carbohydrate material. In so far as known the carbohydrates of artichokes are equally as digestible and nutritious as those of other tubers.
Asparagus.-Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.)-French, asperge; German, spargel; Italian, sparagio; Spanish, esparrago-is a highly prized vegetable and is a native of Europe. The edible asparagus is the young, fresh, undeveloped shoots taken at an early period of growth. They are highly valued when stewed or for use as a salad. There is a number of varieties of asparagus, among which may be mentioned the Giant Dutch asparagus, the common green asparagus, white German asparagus, etc. These are different in kind only, since they all belong to the same botanical species and the variations are produced chiefly by different methods of cultivation. Composition.-.
Asparagus is composed chiefly of water, which amounts, in round numbers, to 94 percent of its entire weight. Its edible portion is rich in protein as compared with the beet and many other vegetables. It is somewhat richer also in fat than the beet or the turnip. Its food value, as will be seen, is largely of a condimental character.
The Bean. The bean belongs to the family Fabacea. It is a native of America and has been cultivated from the earliest times. There are many different varieties of the bean which are cultivated in this country. They grow over the whole range of the United States. There are early and late maturing varieties. Beans are used for food both in the fresh state, while the pods are tender and can be eaten with the immature beans, and also in the dry state, in which condition they are a staple article of food. There are many different varieties of beans which, while not always botanically identical, are sufficiently so to warrant the use of the common name. Two general classes, however, may be distinguished, namely, those that grow in small clusters or bunches and those that grow upon vines or tendrils which have to be supported. In regard to the kinds of culture to which beans are
subjected there may be mentioned field beans, which are cultivated over a large area, and garden beans, which are cultivated in small gardens for the green markets.
Kidney Bean. The kidney bean, or French bean, is a special botanical variety (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). It is what is known in French as haricot; in German as Bohne; Dutch, Boon; Italian, faginolo; Spanish, habichuela. This variety of bean is commonly called a French bean and is a native of South America. It does not seem to have been known before the discovery of the American continent and hence is not thought to have grown wild to any other part of the world. The kidney bean is not very well suited to very high northern latitudes, since it is particularly sensitive to the cold, even if the temperature is not low enough to produce frost. The kidney bean is cultivated over large areas and is also a garden crop. There are early and late varieties, so that the season for the kidney bean is a long one. The pods of this bean are distinguished by being long and slender, and it is particularly valuable for edible purposes while green and is also prized for canning. This is true, especially, of that variety which has a tender pod.
There is another variety of bean in which the pod is tough, and this, of course, is not so well suited for eating green, although when very young, even the tough-podded bean can be used. There are a great many different varieties of kidney beans known, one of which is called the "dwarf kidney bean" on account of its growing only on low bushes and needing no support for the vines. In this variety the pods hang in thick clusters, the lower ends often touching the ground.
Butter Beans.-There is another large class of beans known as butter beans. This variety is also known as Geneva, or plainpalais, or wax bean.
Lima Beans.-The Lima bean is also a different botanical species known as Phaseolus lunatus L. It is nearly related to the kidney bean, being also a native of South America. The vine is a very long one, often reaching more than 10 feet if a proper support be offered it. The common Lima bean is one which matures rather late in the season, but it is most highly valued for its product, which is eaten shelled. There are smaller varieties of this bean known as the dwarf Lima or small Lima,
The total number of varieties of beans which are known and cultivated is, perhaps, more than 100, but they belong in general to the large classes specified.
Average Composition of Green, String, and Lima Beans.
Sugar, starch, etc.,.
The above data are for green Lima beans with the pod removed and for string beans including the pod. The latter, it is seen, are composed largely of water, containing less than 13 percent of dry matter. Of the dry matter almost 20 percent is protein. The soluble carbohydrates, including the starch and sugar, are the most important of the ingredients of the dry substance in so far as actual weight is concerned. In the Lima bean the protein is more than three times as great as in the string bean, and the starch and sugar almost three times as much. As a nutrient, therefore, the Lima beans are far more valuable than the string beans. These data may be taken as representative of all varieties of green beans, hulled and unhulled, the Lima beans being types of hulled beans and the string variety being the type of beans including the pod.
Composition of the Dry Bean.
The analyses show that the dry bean is much richer in protein than the cereals.
Beets. All the varieties of edible beets belong to the common species Beta vulgaris L. French, betterave; German, Salat-Rübe; Dutch, Bet-. wortel; Italian, barbabietola; Spanish, remolacha.
The most important of these beets, economically, is the variety which has been cultivated for the purpose of producing sugar. By long years of selection and improvement the sugar content of the natural beet, which is not more than from four to six percent, has been brought up to an average of about 14 percent, often reaching much larger quantities. The sugar beet itself, in its earlier stages, makes an excellent vegetable for the table, being particularly sweet and palatable. Its tannin content, however, is very high, and before cooking, especially, it has quite a bitter taste, at times. This disappears in the young beets when they are cooked. The sugar beet has a perfectly white flesh, inasmuch as the attempt was made in the early period of cultivation to develop a beet without color in order to produce a white sugar with as little trouble as possible. On the other hand the garden beet is usually highly colored, the red beet being especially prized. The number of varieties of beets in cultivation is very great. Among the most important may be
mentioned the long blood-red beet, which is the common garden beet, the rough-skinned red beet, the pear-shaped beet, the turnip-shaped beet, all of which are of the red color. There is also cultivated for eating purposes a beet with yellow flesh, though it is not by any means so common as the red garden beet.
Composition of the Beet.-The following data represents the average composition of the red beet used as a vegetable:
Sugar, starch, etc.,..
The above data show that the average garden beet has a little less than 12 percent of solid matter and a little more than 88 percent of water. It is rather poor in protein, though it is not a vegetable which can be classed as being excessively deficient in nitrogenous constituents. Its chief food value, however, is in the sugar which it contains, which is more than 7 percent. It is quite deficient in fat.
Brussels Sprouts.-Brussels sprouts is a variety of cabbage which is grown ver large areas in different countries and has a deservedly high reputation on the table. The French name is chou de Bruxelles; German, Brüsseler Sprossen-Kohl; Italian, cavolo a germoglio; Spanish, bretones de Bruselas. The composition of Brussels sprouts is practically the same as that of cabbage.
Starch, sugar, etc.,
Cabbage. The botanical name of the cabbage is Brassica oleracea L. and it belongs to the family Brassicaceæ. It is a plant which is indigenous to both Europe and Asia, and still grows wild in some parts of the European continent. It is eaten both raw, in the form of salad, slaw, etc., and cooked in various methods. It is also subjected to a fermentation, producing the highly prized dish known as sauer-kraut. Its French name is chou cabus; German, Kopfkohl; Italian, cavolo cappuccio; Spanish, col repollo.
The cabbage is a plant which, as it approaches maturity, has its leaves folded upon each other in a solid mass, producing the head. These leaves naturally become bleached and are extremely crisp and tender. The external, free leaves are not prized as a food. The varieties of the cabbage are almost legion and are produced by different methods of cultivation.