2019's Vegetable of the Year: foodstuff or craft project?

Jan 1, 2019

Credit By Rannpháirtí anaithnid at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

KUMD's annual reveal of the Vegetable of the Year featured an ode to same by Duluth Poet Laureate Gary Boelhower, an introduction by the Duluth Community Garden Program, and turns out to be a cross between a cabbage and a turnip (??)!


It could be the name for a dance
it has that tango kind of feel
step and swirl, break and glide
but it’s as down to earth as earth
the food of commoners, not kings
miners, lumberjacks, surly mechanics
with grease under their fingernails
the people’s fare, not often seen in fine dining establishments.
But this could all change in Duluth
when it becomes the vegetable of the year.
We could serve it here with chanterelles
and a champagne shallot butter sauce
pair it with caviar and a cabernet cuvee.
Kobe beef step aside.
King Salmon pass your crown
to this hearty brassica delicious in stews and pasties.
You’ve been called the food of last resort
in Germany and France during both world wars.
Still you have your own festival in Askov and in Cumberland
and you’ve been carved into lanterns for generations.
We’ll plant you in the fine soil of Duluth
we’ll dice and mash and boil and roast you
until you know you are our chosen vegetable of the year
Swede, neep, rutabaga, whichever name you choose. ~ Gary Boelhower, Duluth Poet Laureate