Giant Noble Spinach
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Giant Noble spinach boasts giant, dark green and lightly savoyed leaves. Despite its large leaf size its stems are sugar-sweet, thin and completely edible. Giant Noble spinach is a very tender and succulent variety with a thick pillowy texture. Prized for its large leaves that are easy to clean and prepare, Giant Noble spinach features a mild and easily palatable spinach flavor that's slightly sweeter than standard spinach.
Giant Noble spinach is available from winter through late spring.
Giant Noble spinach, botanically classified as Spinacia oleracea, is also commonly known as Monstrus Viroflay and Long Standing Gaudry. Gaudry spinach is a variety that features partially prickly and partially smooth seeds, and is considered premium to other varieties. As its name implies, Giant Noble spinach plants can spread as wide as 65 centimeters across.
Giant Noble spinach is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamins A, C and B6.
Giant Noble spinach is incredibly versatile and can be eaten fresh or cooked. Its sturdy texture and strong flavor stands up well to heat, canning and sautéing. Use as a raw salad leaf when harvested young or as a braised dark, leafy green, similarly to collards, when more mature. Pair with spring vegetables, citrus, berries, eggs, nuts, bacon, pasta, and fresh cheeses. Flavor with Indian or Middle Eastern spices, creams, ginger, garlic, shallots, chiles and soy. Giant Noble spinach will keep, dry and refrigerated, for one to two weeks.
Giant Noble spinach is said to have been popularized in American by Thomas Jefferson, who grew it in his experimental gardens at Monticello.
The Giant Noble is an inbreeding result of a monoecious, or unisexual, plant found in the Gaudry spinach variety. It was released by Zwaan and Van der Molen of Voorburg, Netherlands in 1926. Just seven years after its release, Giant Noble spinach was chosen as an "All-American Selection" winner in 1933 and has remained a popular variety since. It is a slow bolting plant that can withstand slightly warmer summer temperatures than other varieties, but thrives cool spring and fall weather.