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What is chard?


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Answered 2013-04-24 01:39:59

Chard is scientifically known as Beta vulgaris cicla. It is a variety of the same species as beets and belongs to the same family of chenopod vegetables as spinach, quinoa, epazote, and palak. It shares a similar taste with a flavor that is bitter, pungent, and slightly salty.

Chard got its common name from another Mediterranean vegetable, cardoon, a celery-like plant with thick stalks that resemble those of chard. The French called them both "carde." Although never grown much in Switzerland, these greens were called "Swiss Chard" to differentiate them from cardoons which were also called chard. Cardoons are no longer called chard, so the "Swiss" part is now redundant. In English, chard is also known as white beet, strawberry spinach, seakale beet, leaf beet, Sicilian beet, spinach beet, Chilean beet, Roman kale, and silverbeet. In Italian, the words bietole and biete are both used to refer interchangeably to chard and beet greens (Beta vulgaris Crassa). Technically, biete da costa is chard, so named because it originally thrived in the saline soil along the coasts, while biete da orta are beet greens, so named because they were always a cultivated vegetable garden plant. Costa also refers to the thick central stem ribs of the chard, usually used to make soups, and sometimes refers to the whole plant. The French blettes or bettes comes from the Latin blitum, deriving from the Greek, while the Spanish word for chard, acelgas, comes from the Arabic word al-silq, meaning chard.

Chard is a tall, leafy, green vegetable with a thick, crunchy stalk and fan-like green leaves. The leaves may either be smooth or curly, depending upon the variety, and feature lighter-colored ribs running throughout. The stalk, which can measure almost two feet in length, comes in a variety of colors including white, red, yellow, and orange. Sometimes different colored varieties are bunched together and labeled "rainbow chard." Although chard is available throughout the year, its peak season runs from June through August when it is at its best and in the greatest abundance at your local supermarket. In the United States it planted by seed either in March, or May. Because the small root bulb is left in the ground when the leaves are cropped, chard refoliates, so repeated harvesting is possible throughout the six-month growing season.

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How do you store chard?

Do not wash chard before storing, as water encourages spoilage. Place chard in a sealed container with as little air as possible. Place it in the refrigerator, where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days. If you have large batches of chard, you can blanch the leaves and then freeze them.


Where are Chard hotels located?

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