Gold Forno Beets
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The Gold Forno beet is made up of both an edible root and edible leaves. The plant has bright and broad green leaves with several stems attached to a single root. The root is pale to deep orange, oval and elongated with a variegated golden flesh. Its flavors are earthy, rich and sweet.
Forno beets are available during the winter months.
The Gold Forno beet is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family. It is most commonly and generically referred to as a yellow cylindrical beet. These beets are a rare European heirloom variety and the name Forno is simply the Italian given name to the beets. There are other Forno beet varieties including Red and White.
Before plucking and discarding the leaves from the beet's root, consider this: beet greens are actually more nutritious than the beets, containing twice the potassium and they are exceptionally high in beta carotene and folic acid.
Steaming and roasting bring out the best flavor that the Gold Forno beet can offer. The skin must be peeled, which is easiest after it has cooked, as it simply slips away from its flesh. Gold Forno beets pair well with cheese, eggs, bacon, apples, fennel, citrus, potatoes, shallots, vinegar, walnuts, smoked and cured fish. Gold Forno beets can be preserved via pickling, which also changes their flavor profile while contributing to the length of the root's shelf-life.
The Wild beet, the ancestor of all beets, is thought to have originated in prehistoric times in North Africa. It was also found growing wild along Asian and European seashores. Hence, it was once referred to as a sea beet. Although beets are tolerant of heat, they prefer a cooler climate for prolific and expeditious growing. The faster beets grow, the better the flavor. They can be harvested any time during their growth cycle. This may be why so many farmers harvest younger beets less affected by weather and soil conditions. Gold Forno beets have a dual food value, as they were traditionally grown as livestock feed, especially for the greens. This tradition is actually what brought the beets back onto the commercial map as more farmers are growing beets to supplement animals' grain diets.
Recipes that include Gold Forno Beets. One is easiest, three is harder.