Saturday, June 6, 2015
The Cardoon or Cadone, in French the Cardon, a Vegetable That you May Not of Heard of.
Behind the French Menu
The cardoon plant.
Photograph courtesy of Edsel L.
The cardoon is a cousin to the artichoke
The cardoon is a member of the thistle family and a cousin of the artichoke. Cardoon is long leafed, and the stalk and the ribs of the leaves look like somewhat like branch celery. We eat it as a vegetable and it has a taste that is somewhere between artichoke and celery. Left to grow cardoons will have small flowers, which are edible. The cardoon will also be on menus in Spain and Italy where it is called the cardo.
Cardoons with Garlic Aioli.
Where the cardoon grows and how it arrived in France.
The cardoon or cardone, in French the cardon, needs warmth to grow and in France is mainly cultivated in the south and Corsica. The edible part of this vegetable are the leaves' ribs and stems. The introduction of this plant into France, like the apricot and cherry trees and much else that makes the French table more interesting, is blamed on the usual suspects, the Romans.
The cardoon on French Menus:
Gratin de Cardon – A traditional garnish, a side dish. Gratin de cardon is buttered cardoon stems and ribs baked in the oven with milk and cream. Before serving grated cheese is added, and all is then braised under the grill. A version of this dish may also be on menus as the typically Lyonnaise dish of gratin de cardon à la moelle. In this version of gratin de cardon marrow bones are added to the recipe and they add a great deal to the flavor.
Cardoon in the market.
Photograph courtesy of judywitts.
Le Porcelet, Dos Rôti Sur Couenne Cardon à La Crème de Châtaigne en Tartelette, Jus Grassouillet - A thick cut from the back of a suckling pig roasted with pork rinds and the natural fatty cooking juices the roasting creates. here it is served with a cardoon and a cream of chestnut pie. Couenne are pork rinds and are called pork scratchings or pork cracklings in the UK. Pork rinds are used in French cuisine for flavoring, especially in winter recipes such as stews and cassoulets.
The cardoon flower.
Les Queues de Langoustines Poêlées, Cardon Braisé, Jus de Crustacés. The tails of the Dublin Bay Prawn, also called the Norwegian lobster, lightly fried and served with braised cardoon. Dublin Bay prawns are mostly about 18 cm (7”) long with all the meat in the tail; they are neither a prawn nor a lobster. This crustacean is the real scampi, not the shrimp often called scampi on USA menus. In this recipe the tails, where all the meat is, are lightly brazed with the juices of other crustaceans made from their shells.
Langoustines, Dublin Bay Prawns.
Cardoon in the languages of France’s neighbors:
(Catalan - carde, cardon), (Dutch - kardoen), (German - cardy, kardonenartischocke), (Italian - cardo), (Spanish - cardo).
Cassoles, Cassolettes, and Cassoulets. Along with Four of the Most Famous Cassoulets on French Menus.
Bryan G. Newman
Copyright 2010, 2015
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman