Kohlrabi Wins The Weird Vegetable Prize

By Mary H. Dyer | July 7, 2021
Image by vaitekune
by Mary H. Dyer
July 7, 2021

I’m sure I’ve seen more than my share of weird or ugly veggies, fruits, and plants over the years, but none seem worthy of mention with the exception of kohlrabi. I love kohlrabi’s crispy, cool flavor, and its unusual, kooky shape always makes me smile. 

Some people think kohlrabi looks like an upside-down jellyfish, but to me, it clearly looks like Sputnik. Mother Nature definitely has a sense of humor. 

Other Strange Developments

There’s obviously no shortage of weird-shaped veggies. A quick Internet search netted comical pictures of a radish posing as a lounging woman, strawberries that looks like bears, a carrot that resembles a duck, bunny-shaped tomatoes, owlish apples, screaming sweet peppers, duck- or goose-shaped gourds or cucumbers, evil-looking onions, dragon-stem pumpkins, eggplants with noses, foot-shaped radishes, Buzz Lightyear carrots, and of course, no shortage of veggies that look a little too human. 

Why Do Vegetables Take On Weird Or Unusual Shapes, Anyway?

Environmental conditions are often the culprit when veggies grow in weird shapes. For instance, if a root tip is damaged, it can split and form multiple roots. Root vegetables often grow around small stones or other obstacles, or poorly worked soil. (This is especially common for carrots).

Erratic weather and poor pollination can also be to blame when veggies don’t grow in perfect symmetry. In some cases, something goes wrong with one part of the vegetable, while the other part is completely normal. 

The good news is that the shape doesn’t affect the flavor or quality of the vegetable, but twisted carrots, gnarled beets or misshapen radishes can be more difficult to peel or slice. 

Of course, you can always take a picture of that oddball fruit or veggie and post it on the Internet for others to enjoy.

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