Fifty-year spinach


September 16, 2021

Alex Féthière

Safe in its shopping-cart nursery, seven-month old Caucasian spinach is just starting to put on growth.

Spinach is a ubiquitous green in our culture, and grocery stores have ruined it for me.

It's fragile when bundled and intolerant of mishandling. When spoiling in a clamshell of mixed greens, it quickly rots the lot.

I briefly put it in everything from stews to pastries when I found it at a local Indian grocer in Queens, New York. Though not organic, it was in field-fresh condition. As I stood admiring it for the first time, no fewer than five South Asian housewives examined a couple of bundles with a frown and walked away. One made a scornful spitting noise.

In nonvegetarian cultures, subpa...

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