Around the World, Country Living goes hand-in-hand with gardening, and besides beautiful flowers — fruit, vegetables and herbs are usually the first to be planted in country home gardens. Nobody can deny the pleasure of eating really fresh foods that were growing minutes before appearing on your table; the taste and nutrition is much better than those from the supermarket that took days to reach you. Let’s examine healthy foods from country homes worldwide!
In Argentina, no garden would be without plenty of parsley and garlic for Chimichurri – a fragrant salsa verde (green sauce) made of fresh parsley, lots of garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Chimichurri is used all over Argentina as an accompaniment to grilled meat (or fish dishes) and can be complimented with blue potatoes – fresh from your jardín del país (country garden)!
Throughout the countryside of France, it is de Rigueur (obligatory!) to have Au Potager (a vegetable garden). The essential veggies you need to include if you want to impress your neighbours are Artichokes, Asparagus, Celeriac, Chard, Cucumbers, Fennel and Leeks, together with an abundance of herbs for your Bouquet Garni (a bundle of fresh herbs that are needed for many French dishes, including parsley, bay leaf, and sprigs of thyme).
In Italy, life pretty much revolves around great healthy foods and one of the most iconic Italian salads (Caprese Salad) is made from a fresh blend of three ingredients – perfect ripe tomatoes from the garden, glistening sweet basil leaves and some mozzarella cheese. There are many forms of basil such as spicy bush and caesar basil that can give off splendid aromas in the garden and on the chopping block! Italian countrysides also produce lots of olives and artichokes which are loved on an anti-pasti platter, together with succulent baby marrows, aubergines and beautiful fresh figs!
Vietnamese rural living cuisine is typified by the use of fragrant crisp greens and veggies which are grown in abundance in gardens. A “national” dish of the country is Pho, a sublime noodle soup that totally depends on the wonderful selection of fresh herbs for its taste and goodness. Among these essential ingredients grown in gardens are cilantro, Thai basil, lemongrass, ginger, mint, Saigon cinnamon, chilli and lime.
All over England, growing your own vegetables and fruit has always been a way of life with country living, and there is an emphasis on growing root veggies such as parsnips, carrots, swedes and celeriac, all of which are essentials for hearty cold-beating stews. There’s renewed interest in Heirloom veggies that have become just about extinct such as purple carrots and potatoes, and other variations of tomatoes and broccoli.
In Canada and the United States, gardens include many native and non native plants for a variety of eating pleasures. Raspberries, blackberries, and woodland strawberries are a common plant used to sweeten pies, crepes and cereals! Sweet peas and fresh carrots are common and a favorite as a snack. Leak and varieties of potatoes can be planted and used to make delicious soups! And, the hips of the wild rose can be used for tea or juice – a beautiful flower and beverage from your country home garden!
Outland living in Australia brings a wealth of flavorful indigenous foods. indigenous foods include Kakadu plums (a high source of vitamen C) and warrigal greens (New Zealand Spinach) which are very easy to grow. Add warmth to your healthy foods with mountain pepper (a hotter pepper spice) and create a lemon taste with the leaves of the lemon myrtle. To cool off in the Australian outback, a fresh round lime cut and squeezed will make a refreshing cold beverage!
Around the world, growing your own foods are an opportunity that comes with country living! And, while countries may vary in the specific foods grown, country living has a common pleasure of “delicious and healthy food”!