Veggie Woe

04 Dec

Every child has had this conversation with its parents at least once:

Child: “Veggies. Blech.

Parent: “It’s good for you.

Child: “But it tastes awful.

Parent: “Yes, but it’s good for you.

You see what happened? The parent admits that yes, the food they are serving their pride and joy tastes like crap, but expects said kiddie to eat it anyway. To be fair, the parents will also eat it. Like my mother once told me when confronted by a dish of cabbage: “Think of it as medicine and swallow it.

Here are six vegetables that automatically go on the medicine list.

1. Lettuce

What’s the point? I can understand and, to a large extent, forgive leaves such as spinach. They might be an acquired taste but eventually they contribute something to the dishes that they join. But lettuce? How many times have I bit into a delicious sandwich and found it contaminated with a faint taste of water – the overwhelming flavor de lettuce?

Its primary purpose in sandwiches and salads appears to be that of liquid repellent. A bun with its lettuce raincoat to help defend it against the sneak attack of the sauces, be it mayonnaise or ketchup, won’t end up all soggy. But is that a good enough reason to eat it? I’m sure you’re grateful to your raincoat in the monsoons but would you marry it? Then why would you want to eat your bun’s raincoat? I’d rather eat a soggy, saucy sandwich any day.

2. Cucumber

The cucumber has exactly one thing going for it: its name. It’s a pretty funny name. Cu-cum-ber. Heh. Unfortunately, my taste buds don’t have a sense of humor. They’re all about the taste. I had high hopes from the British in this regard. I’d heard so much about their amazing cucumber sandwiches, especially when consumed with tea. I was all jazzed up about them.

Imagine thin slices of freshly baked bread, their crusts removed, delicately slathered with butter, filled with tender shavings of fresh, juicy cucumber, just sprinkled with a hint of lemon. Sounds delicious, yes?

Just substitute the red meat of your choice for ‘cucumber’ and it will be. Delicious, I mean. Vegetarians can try tomatoes or something, I suppose.
3. Cabbage

The name says it all. The only way this thing is palatable is if you cook the hell out of it or else somehow fundamentally change the way it tastes. Sauerkraut, kimchi, borscht, coleslaw, my mother’s preparation – they’re all remarkable for one thing: none of it tastes like actual cabbage. Most of it still tastes horrible, but it tastes a different kind of horrible. Okay, so my mother’s cabbage doesn’t taste horrible but that’s only because she’s my mother and would bop me on the head if I said it did. Oh, and coleslaw – anything with a million tons of mayonnaise poured over it has to taste good.

4. Pumpkin

The first time I saw a pumpkin hollowed out for Halloween, I was struck by the sheer genius of it. Here at last was a reason for this thing’s existence. Lovers of pumpkin pie might disagree but I’ve never yet seen a single pumpkin based dish that made any sense to me. You can puree it into soup, bake it into pie, try and kid me that the curry tastes good – but you can’t fool me. I know what that gloop tastes like and it’s – not – good.

5. Celery

Is this even a vegetable? Why does it taste like camphor then? It does taste like camphor! Well, actually, I’ve never eaten camphor but I’m sure it’d taste just like celery if you ate it. It has that weird “toxic fume” flavor to it. You know something is awful when even alcohol and peanut butter can’t save it.
6. Potato

I know what you’re thinking. “But – but – the potato! That doesn’t taste bad. It tastes good!” You’re darn right it tastes good. Too good. There’s reason in everything, people and there’s no need for a veggie to taste this good. In fact, this one tastes so good, it does the very opposite of what a vegetable is supposed to do and can actually be bad for your health. That’s how good it is.

There’s just no way to ruin this vegetable. You can bake it, fry it, boil it, mash it, grate it, make it put on a dress and dance the can-can. It’s all good. So obviously, it’s bad for you – unless you like mashed/baked potatoes without any butter. Then you’re all good.
Sigh. Life just isn’t fair.

[Originally published at]


Posted by on December 4, 2007 in Life, Personal


14 responses to “Veggie Woe

  1. lna4va

    December 4, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Great post. Its all so true.
    Especially the potato one. Why can’t the one tastie veggie be good for us.
    Although I do love pumpkin especially in pie and it sure is a power house of vitamin goodness. There is no other way to cook it except pie and soup (that I know of) and that just defeats the purpose to have all that cream.


  2. Kokonad

    December 4, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Broccoli. You have forgotten broccoli. How on earth could you forget broccoli. I hate broccoli. I hate celery too.I hate celery too.

  3. Kokonad

    December 4, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    I wonder if you have seen this ad –

  4. desigirl

    December 5, 2007 at 4:58 am

    I cannot wait for you to try out the other bogies the Brits throw at us in the guise of veg. Celeriac, Fennel, Broccoli to name a few. Why dont you try those and give us all something to cackle over? May be then they will go down easy.
    ps: you like soggy sandwiches? girl u are nuts!

  5. harini calamur

    December 5, 2007 at 6:50 am

    cooked carrots & beetroots !! ugh…… i was conned , as a child, to believe that beetroot gave you pink lips…… but they were truly, truly terrible tasting…
    and I totally agree about the aalu……

  6. Raja Sen

    December 5, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Honestly, though while I agree with you — especially about the raincoats and the fruit-o-lanterns — I must say I think broccoli has an undeservedly awful rep.

    I like it. There. I said it.

  7. ramesh

    December 5, 2007 at 11:26 am

    no cabbage, cucumber and potato!! how do u live anywhere !!!

  8. Gagan

    December 5, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    you may find yourself in shallow waters when you look to praise British cuisine Amrita cucumber or no cucumber 😉

  9. Amey

    December 5, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Well, cucumber is very good in salads. And with slices covered with just a hint of salt and mirchi powder.

    I don’t want to talk about pumpkin pie either, and potatos can make for at least 2 tasty subjis.

  10. Gaurav

    December 6, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    Nice post! But no broccoli on that list!!. I fail to see why would anybody eat those Bonsai tree like structures which have been colored with crayons!!! 🙂

  11. Amrita

    December 6, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Broccoli Haters R Us, I see 😀

    Ina – i’ve had pumpkin curry and it was the worst thing I ever ate. Pumpkin pie is my least fav pie but a dollop of cream is my solution for everything, lol!

    Koke – damn, when you hate, you REALLY hate. Never saw that ad before so thanks for the link!

    DG and Gagan – I learned my lesson with vegemite. BLEURGH!!!! talk about cruel and unusual punishment.

    Harini – oh lord, beetroot! my mother would put those things in cutlets and things and it was awful! And she’d keep insisting that it tasted good and it didn’t. NOT ONCE! I’m sending you as proof to her.

    Raja – they’re gonna come for you tonight and egg your house. 😀

    Ramesh – I eat meat 😛

    Amey – salads, yuck. The only time I like a salad is when its a chicken caesar salad or something. which sort of defeats the purpose, lol.

    Gaurav – that has to be the best description for those things, I’ve ever read.

  12. Amey

    December 9, 2007 at 2:26 am

    I meant Indian salad. With curds (yogurt), salt and sugar. Possibly tomatoes…

    I wasn’t talking about fool-patte (i.e. healthy) salads.

  13. Amrita

    December 9, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Ah, the old raita – no curd or yogurt for me though 😦 but hey, i’ll eat onions and carrots with tandoori chicken! with lime on top even.

  14. Amey

    December 9, 2007 at 3:05 am

    Yes, I was going for the “foreign” version… Why not cucumber with tomatoes and onion? And have you tried cucumber cut in 4 slices, lathered liberally with salt and mirchi powder? Yummm….

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