Thursday, August 19, 2010


My co-worker and friend, Barry, and I have been working hard to improve our diets and increase our vegetable intake. Through a few conversations we came up with each of us bringing in a creative, tasty version of them. During all of the deliberation we were disscussing the meaning of "cruciferous." Barry is quite the linguist (being trilingual) and immediately recognized the religious origin of this word. So this one is for you Barry. . .

Cruciferous is the adjective form of "crucifer,"meaning cross bearer, from crux or cruc- meaning cross, and -fer meaning one that bears.

Cruciferous vegetables (including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower) are those that belong to the order of Brassicaceae. (wikipedia) "Cruciferae is an older name; it means "cross-bearing," because the four petals of their flowers are reminiscent of a cross."

Love word origins.

". . . even the (stones) vegetables cry out his name!" ~ interpretation: mine!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I'm so proud to get my own blog entry from the esteemed Mrs. Parks.

    This entry is very enlightening. No wonder I find broccoli so burdensome; it really IS a cross to bear.

    Seriously though, I looked up cruciferous vegetables on Wikipedia. The website indicates that these plants contain PTC (Phenylthiocarbamide), a chemical compound with a very bitter taste. However, the ability to taste PTC is genetic; some have the ability to taste it and some don't. According to the website, "cruciferous vegetables are less likely to be eaten by people who can taste PTC." A related page further indicates that 98% of indigenous people of the Americas DO have the genetic ability to taste PTC.

    This means, of course, I was right all along. Certain vegetables really are gross, especially if you're among the 98% of American Indians who can taste PTC.

    Do you think my mom would have made me eat my broccoli all those years ago if she had known this? I suppose we can forgive her since she tortured me unawares... ;)