When I was little, carrots were often touted as having the mystical ability to boost one’s vision to near super-human levels*. Now, I’m not sure of the exact origin of this myth, but I could imagine the thought percolating in the mind of a frustrated mom, sick of employing the usual tactics to convince her children to eat their vegetables. Let’s be real, it wasn’t much of a stretch, carrots are an easy sell; combine their cheery orange hue, vibrant crunch, and sweet flavor with the promise of superpowers, and it’s no surprise to see their resounding popularity amongst the lunchbox set and beyond.
*Naturally this myth has some grounding in truth, as one of the nutrients abundant in carrots (beta-carotene) does play a role in vision. A diet with insufficient levels of Vitamin A and/or it’s precursor beta-carotene can result in eye problems, but this really isn’t an issue for the vast majority of people in the developed world, you know, unless you subsist on a diet of chicken nuggets. The danger of consuming too much Vitamin A, or any nutrient really, (supplements are scary stuff; carrots pose little risk unless you’re literally eating bushels of them) is far worse. Bottom line (and the end of my rambling tangent on nutrition): please don’t take supplements unless explicitly directed to do so by your doctor or RD. Then again, why are you taking nutritional advice from someone who practically considers Pixy Stix a food group?
I seem to be having a moment with vegetables that I generally find suspect. First
onions scallions, now celery, soon to be discussed: kale. Unusually enough, I found my “renewed” interest in celery (not sure if I ever had any) began with a cocktail. Now, I’ve found that my interest in many things is increased when booze is involved, but rarely is the point of interest so wholesome as green vegetables. So, I’d like to say a brief thank you to gin (yay, gin!) for inspiring me to venture out into the wide world of celery based noshing. More specifically, I’d like to thank the Southern Exposure*, a fantastic cocktail at Alembic, which incidentally is one of my favorite bars in San Francisco.
*Alembic’s description of the Southern Exposure: “Another refreshing elixir plucked straight from the garden, our spin on the classic southside uses Junipero gin, fresh mint, lime juice, a touch of sugar and a little shot of fresh celery juice. Loaded with antioxidants to help deal with the Haight’s population of free ‘radicals’.”