The Berkeley Bowl: Dare to Prepare

What on earth does one do with banana flowers? How do you use salsify or Spanish black radishes in your kitchen? What about that weird-looking Indian bitter melon? These are the questions that simmer in my consciousness as I navigate the maze of exotic produce aisles in the famous Berkeley Bowl Market.  For years I had shopped at this market, tantalized by the these fruits and vegetables that I couldn’t even identify.  Back in March 2015 I decided it was time to put an end to my ignorance, and challenged myself to create a recipe for every single exotic fruit and vegetable from the aisles of Berkeley Bowl that I had never dared to prepare… until now. Follow along and see if I’m up to the challenge!

149 thoughts on “The Berkeley Bowl: Dare to Prepare

  1. Ledgardo Lacson says:

    I love bitter melon , the bitter is the best for me, regarding the banana flowering PHILIPPINES we use to add flavor , while the banana heart we cooked them with vinegar and coconut milk and add a little bit of chile

  2. triciaroxane says:

    So excited to explore your blog and find inspiration for my weekly trips to Berkeley Bowl. As of right now I’ve (mostly) contained myself to the olive and cheese bars, but have yet to delve into the produce section for any of their exotic fruits and veggies. I can’t wait to try out some new foods!!

  3. Arlene says:

    You liked my comment on THE FAMILY DINING ROOM’S blog, so I thought I would give you a look. You have many wonderful looking recipes for your exotic produce. So if I ever come across some these produce. I know just where to go for a recipe. 🙂
    Arlene of OUR RETIRED LIFE.

  4. Rhonda Sittig says:

    What a great challenge!! I hope you’ll send out some of what you come up with. I had the same feeling when I would visit our son in China– also home to bitter melon– What are all these beautiful but mystifying vegetables and fruits???! (and we know Berkeley Bowl too– our kids went to school there and we shopped in from time to time). Fun post!

  5. lynne hoareau says:

    Hi Laura, thank you so much for the ‘follow’. I have been going through your blog and love it ! I love your concept, it is so inspiring. I will be following your blog too, so really look forward to your amazing adventures. Have a great day. 🙂

      • renxkyoko says:

        I have never cooked a dish with bitter melon, actually. And my mother seldom cooks bittermelon dish. It’s not always available at the Asian store. I love omelette with bitter melon. There’s a way to take out the bitterness. Slice the bittermelon ( thin slices ) , marinate it in saline water for maybe an hour ( the bitter stuff will leach out, then squeeze the liquid out, then rinse…. then make the omelette with sliced onions and the slced bitter melon.

  6. VanessaxGrace says:

    What a great concept! I like to try all different types of cuisine, but I’ve also steered clear of intimidating components. All the best on your adventure and thanks for the follow. I’m honored to have your company!


  7. chattykerry says:

    What a beautiful blog and I, too, have often wondered about some Latin American fruits and vegetables that we get in Texas. Eating or touching exotica when we lived in Egypt gave me a parasitic friend and it has left me with a very sensitive tummy so I can look at your blog and imagine eating those delicious recipes. 🙂

  8. Kouzounas Kitchen says:

    Nice to see you follow me. I love the Berkeley Bowl and I was amazed with it a few years ago while visiting a friend who lives in Berkeley. I wish they would bring that to Sacramento. Wonderful grocery store, and very happy to see your recipes here. Good for you to branch out in the kitchen. That is my goal as a chef, to help people branch out into cooking. 🙂

  9. savannabel says:

    Thank you for the follow. Your blog looks very interesting! I live in the Zambezi Valley in Zambia, and am passionate about the wild food here. It’s great fun foraging and then experimenting with edibles you’ve never eaten in your life before! All the best to you, Annabel

  10. Sarah says:

    Omg!! Can’t believe you have your own page! It looks amazing and even makes me wanna try it!!!! Love you Xoxo

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