She who possesses a hundred husbands

We’ve been loading up on the new stock the last few weeks, and this week it includes dried shatavari, a species of Indian asparagus. The name has been variously translated as “she who possesses a hundred husbands” for its purported effect on the female libido, or alternatively “curer of a hundred diseases”. Unfortunately my Sanskrit isn’t good enough to speculate on the lexical link between “disease” and “husband”! Besides looking after 100 husbands, in Ayurveda it’s traditionally used for improving production of breast milk, PMS and ulcers.

Unfortunately the week before last our fresh asparagus wasn’t up to scratch. We had a flood of complaints – it appears they weren’t stored properly, and were almost frozen when we got them. When they started to thaw, they deteriorated very quickly, leading to the slimy (and other less complimentary descriptions) asparagus many of you got. Thanks for all the feedback – we do appreciate hearing when something is not working. Remember, although it doesn’t make up for the disappointment, if you’re unhappy with something, please let us know and ask for a credit.

This week we got our batch at about 5pm on Wednesday evening, but it looked like they were going to experience the same problem – they were already thawing, and some of them were starting to go slimy. They were sent back in disgrace, but luckily we managed to get a fresh batch later that night, so to my knowledge the asparagus was good this week.

Novelty X
The citrus season is winding it’s way down, and there are no more naartjies. Last week saw the first Valencia oranges, which are a traditional variety with a pip, not peeling as well as navel oranges, having a tough skin. However, best and easiest are not always aligned, and many find Valencia’s have the best flavour for juicing and taste.

They’re also unusual in that in the high mountains where these come from, they keep on the tree until picked, and don’t fall off when ripe.

This week also sees the first of the Novelty X citrus variety, a species that suffers from a name sounding like it was meant for an 80’s robot, but is actually a tasty easy peeler. It’s a mandarin hybrid, with a taste described as a cross between a navel and naartjie. They’re usually seedless, but these are grown near lemon trees, and many will contain seeds.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

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