Finding vegetables with the letter V is no joke, especially if you’re searching for options that can be clearly defined as a real vegetable.
Experts define a vegetable as the edible portion of a plant which is usually grouped according to the portion of the plant that is consumed such as leaves, stems, roots, tubers, bulbs, and flowers.
So, what vegetables start with the letter V? Let’s look at 3 different options.
Mucuna pruriens, also known as velvet bean, is an annual shrub that grows long vines. This climbing shrub is found in tropical areas such as the Caribbean, India, and Africa.
The name “velvet bean” derives from the fact that the plant is covered with soft hair when young. As the velvet bean matures, it loses these hairs, which cover the bean pods. The main use for this type of bean is as manure for small farms, but you’ll also find it being used as animal feed in some countries.
Even though it has a taste and nutritional value that is similar to other legumes, it’s not normally used as a food source, hence why you don’t see it available in supermarkets.
The Vidalia onion is a special cultivar of sweet onions grown exclusively in the southern United States.
In fact, onions cannot legally be labeled as “Vidalia onions” in the United States unless they come from a specific region of Georgia. These onions are famously used in southern cooking and are also popular in some other parts of the United States, albeit not grown there.
Vidalias came about by accident in southeast Georgia in the 1930s, when farmers were struggling to find a new commercial crop. Several onion cultivars have been crossed to produce the modern Vidalia onion.
The result is a sweet yellow onion that is remarkably juicy and flavorful without the harsh bite and eye-watering bite that most people associate with onions. Vidalia onion growers follow strict guidelines to ensure that their crop meets the state standard, and these onions seem to fetch a high price in the marketplace.
However, unlike most onions, the Vidalia onion does not store well. These onions need to be consumed quickly or they will begin to soften and rot. As a result, consumers tend to value them when they are available in late summer, and many people try to grow their own produce due to high prices.
Any orchid of the genus Vanilla is called vanilla – but the part used to give flavor and aroma to food is the grains in the plant’s pod. These grains have no smell or taste as you must first let them dry in the oven or in the sun.
During the drying process, a natural fermentation process takes place: enzymes turn the grains black and their perfume concentrated. To remove the extract the pod is dried and immersed in alcohol.
Native to Central America, vanilla has spread to humid environments all over the continent. In Brazil, several species grow on the coast and in regions of the Atlantic Forest, but the most commonly used for extract production is Vanilla planifolia.
However, natural vanilla is quite expensive, so what you may find in the supermarket is an artificial version that is synthesized in the lab from coniferyl alcohol, a substance found in pine wood. They’re similar but the natural vanilla has a much more delicate and soft aroma.