The Best Thing I Never Ate; episode 1

The Best Thing I Never Ate; episode 1

Rainbow Chard
by Mandi Johnson, Associate Director of Community Engagement and Food Hobbyist

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem and I’ll admit it—I’m a bit of a food-tv junkie.  I wouldn’t say I’m a foodie or even an amateur home cook but I am definitely a food-hobbyist.  Is that even a real thing?  I don’t know—let’s just go with it.  I enjoy spending my weekends in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes and culinary creations.  This, of course, has led me down the path of becoming a food-television junkie.  I especially love competition cooking shows and find myself actively participating in commentary much like one might expect from a sports fan during the big game.  Fortunately my dog is only slightly judgmental of my quirky habit. 

I'm not judging you but I'm totally judging you

As much as I enjoy this outlet for learning all about food and cooking (if you’re ever in need of a trivia partner who has a wealth of useless knowledge on this subject, I’m your girl) I’ve concluded that I need to significantly expand my culinary experience.  Inspired by Food Network’s, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, where celebrity chefs tell you their favorites from around the world, I decided to start a series I am calling The Best Thing I Never Ate (and yes, the grammatical inconsistency is killing me but “The Best Thing I’ve Never Eaten” just doesn’t have the same ring to it).  A couple of times a month I will select a food/ingredient I have never eaten before and will prepare it.  I’ll be blogging about these kitchen adventures here and will also be posting them to our Instagram.

Rainbow chard is something I have heard about often while consuming food television.  I had never cooked or eaten it before but it sure is pretty—a leafy green vegetable with colorful stems in vibrant oranges, pinks, and yellow hues.


I have heard that you can use chard the same way you would use spinach or kale--in that you can eat it raw in salads or cooked.

Pretty much sums up my opinion of kale

I utilized our free food database offered through Bossier Parish Libraries to do my research.  A to Z World Food offers thousands of international recipes, hundreds of fascinating culture and ingredient articles, and other essential culinary resources to bring international cuisines directly to you where you are.  Here’s what I learned:  chard is a leafy green vegetable in the beet family, and is at its peak season in the summer.  Chard originates from the Mediterranean and has a slightly salty, bitter, and earthy flavor.  See this is good information to have and I have to admit, dear readers, that I did not do my research in advance.  That’s just bad librarianing—and a lesson learned because I did, in fact, add salt to my chard as I do with any other greens but friends let me tell you—it was not delicious.

Next time I will do my research beforehand to avoid #KitchenFails such as this.  Be sure to check out A to Z World Food for all your cooking concoctions.