Traveling Taste Buds: Trying Veggies From Around The World

By Amy Grant | June 15, 2020

The USDA recommends eating 5 to 9 servings of fruit and veggies per day, which can seem like an awful lot if you or your kids are some of the many who think ‘vegetable’ is a four letter word. The thing is most Americans stick to the same handful of vegetables, which is not only boring but, if you truly loathe something, sounds like the death bell for healthier eating habits.

The good news is that there are tons of veggies around the world that might be more to your liking. While some of them may be more difficult to get at the supermarket, ethnic vegetable growing might be the key to getting the kids to ingest something healthful, especially if they are already fans of ethnic cuisines such as Indian, Mexican, or Chinese.

Veggies from Around the World – Give These a Try

Having been a chef for a large part of my life, I may be a bit partial when it comes to trying to foods. But, trust me, it can really be worth it and your taste buds will thank you. And when you try your hand at growing some of these wonderful vegetables, you’ll be able to enjoy them even more – since we all know that homegrown veggies taste better.

You can even take this one step further by including some of these tasty morsels in your child’s homeschooling lessons. A trip around the world using vegetables from different countries makes for a great history lesson. Health is another teachable area. It’s also a great way to learn more about your own ethnic background.

Some of the more common ethnic vegetables to consider growing are:

Lesser known ethnic vegetables to try include luffa, bottle gourd, Indian eggplant, bitter melon, and samphire (or sea bean), which is rather like a cross between asparagus and cactus. Oh, and on the subject of cactus, try nopales sometime. Nopales is the leaf of the Opuntia cactus, which also produces prickly pear fruit.

There are plenty of versatile root veggies from around the world to grow. Try growing the ethnic vegetables like oca, sunchoke, or manioc (also known as cassava and yuca).

Manioc is actually one of the most important food sources among people of the developing world, feeding over half a billion people. You might know it by its name of tapioca, the product dried and in its powdered form turned into a delicious dessert.

Tell us what you think: Leave a comment
3 people are already talking about this.
This article was last updated on
Read more about Backyard Stories
Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

Get our latest eBook, “Bring Your Garden Indoors: 13 DIY Projects for the Fall and Winter”

As the seasons change, it’s time to think about bringing your garden indoors. From creating an indoor garden to using natural decor for your holiday decorations, our latest eBook features 13 of our favorite DIY projects for the whole family.

 Happy holidays from all of us at Gardening Know How.

  • Sylvia W
    Comment added June 28, 2021Reply

    As important as being adventurous in your tastes - which I certainly am, having sampled most of the listed produce listed and even grown a couple - is to research the plants before diving in. I would never discourage anyone from growing anything - just know what you are getting into in advance!
    Sunchokes, for example, make for a glorious display with their 10-12' sunflower-like stalks. However these require support, or they will begin to fall over drunkenly - not so glorious looking. Furthermore if you miss any of the tubers at harvest time they will come back the following year, potentially spreading far beyond your selected bed. For some (like me!!!!) this is a positive and an unplanned benefit. For others, maybe not so much. Do your homework, and have fun!

  • Jerry D Andersen
    Comment added June 27, 2020Reply

    Nice website. Very informative.

    Comment added June 27, 2020Reply


Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!