Word of the Day – Tuesday, December 4th



Word of the Day


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OKRA (OH-kruh)

A tall tropical Asian annual plant, the edible pods of which are used in soups as a vegetable.
Common clues: Creole veggie; Gumbo thickener; Cajun staple; Stew pod; Gumbo ingredient; Pot vegetable; Southern dish
Crossword puzzle frequency: 6 times a year
Frequency in English language: 53178 / 86800
The health benefits of okra

So few people eat okra (more radishes are grown in this country) that it never even makes it onto the lists of Top 10 hated foods ~ Julia Reed

Raw okra pods

Okra, also called gumbo or lady fingers, is a plant grown for its fibrous pods full of round, white seeds, which, when picked young, are eaten as a vegetable. It was formerly considered a species of Hibiscus. The word okra is of African origin. It is a very popular vegetable in Brazil, where it is known as Quiabo. It is also one of the most popular vegetables in late 20th century Japanese cuisine.

Okra was brought to the United States via the African slave trade route, and flourished in the South. It can be grown throughout the South and into the Southwest and will tolerate poor soils (with heavy clay) and intermittent moisture; it only grows when there is available water, but can survive severe drought conditions in all but its seedling stage. Add the fact that few garden pests show any interest in the plant, and you have a great garden vegetable.

Okra may be steamed until tender, either whole or sliced about 1/2 half inch thick. Okra can also be boiled with tomatoes or fried in a cornmeal batter. Okra can also be the thickening agent in gumbo; when cooked, it has the same mucilaginous properties as nopales (the pads of the prickly pear). It can also be pickled.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Okra".