Oct 14, 2011, 9:15 PM
Post #6 of 11
I'll take your nursery guy's word for it, but it would still scare me to eat it, cultivated or not. The cultivated type may be a slightly different variety than the wild, one that has had the poison bred out of it over the years (centuries?). I didn't see any reference to a cultivated variety in my searches, though.
There are so many different varieties of amaranto that grow in México (over 200), both wild and cultivated, with all sorts of leaf sizes and shapes, none of which actually LOOK like spinach and many that don't even resemble each other, that I'm certain that your bledo is one of them. I saw many, many pictures of different ones when researching the situation I got myself into below.
One Mexican's quelite is another's bledo is yet another's maleza – weed. When my wife, a city gal from Los Mochis first saw what became the giant one that practically took over our back yard, she immediately dismissed it as, "Es un bledo, un maleza." Fortunately, I had first asked our maid, a campesino gal from the rancho, and she took one look at it and immediately told me it was a quelite and the leaves were good to eat, so I was able to dissuade my wife when she wanted to chop it out, and she was able to enjoy the cooked result right along with the rest of us many times. The leaves don't look anything like spinach, nor do they smell or taste like spinach until steamed or braised. Then they both taste and smell like ordinary spinach, even look darn similar to steamed or braised spinach leaves. I'm going to save a few of the dried seeds before the birds eat them all, and next year plant them on purpose. In the front garden, though, as I don't think my wife will put up with having our back yard filled up with weeds for a second summer!
(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Oct 14, 2011, 9:20 PM)