There is something so wonderful about the color green, particularly when experienced at a provincial market with farm fresh produce. The color green can be soothing and invigorating at the same time. In this post, I feature photos of several “greens” – leafy vegetables both familiar and not, as well as other veggies colored green. Up top, a huge pile of betel leaves, buyo to locals, overturned, and waiting for buyers. I know betel leaves are used as part of a Thai dish (a wrapper for herbs, dried shrimps, lime and sometimes sour fruit like green mango), but locally I think it’s main use is to wrap betel fruit for the traditionalists to chew on and get their nicotine fix…
A “discovery” for me on this recent trip is a common local green called “lubi-lubi“. I will be doing a separate post on this green as I was fascinated by its color, shape and crispness. So stay tuned for that post… suffice it to say I have never seen this green before, let alone tasted it.
Another revelation were these cassava tops on sale. A vibrant light green with red stems, I never realized folks ate the young greens of cassava. Again, I don’t think I have ever eaten young cassava greens. This same vendor also had all of the other greens like talbos ng kamote, ampalaya, saluyot, etc.
Bicol seems to be one of the epicenters of pako (fern) production. I always assumed that pako grew in dark moist rainforests but I actually came across a LOT of pako in suburban coconut plantations and roadside underbrush around Legazpi. I LOVE pako so I was in heaven when i spotted all of this incredible pako at the market… but wait, I had no access to a kitchen so I could look but not eat, bummer!
Who would have thought a pile of banana leaves could be so photogenic?
The selection of chillies at the market was pretty impressive… and if you notice, these are a darker green variety than the finger chillies often seen in Manila groceries packaged in styrofoam and plastic wrap.
Really healthy stalks of lemongrass or tanglad were also on offer, yet another of my favorite ingredients.
And finally, bilaos filled with green tomatoes…