Prior to say, oh I don’t know, 1992, the only thing I knew about spinach was that if Popeye ate it, he’d have super strength in those already massive forearms. How he managed to pop a can of spinach without an opener before he ate the spinach and why he wasted all that bravado on Olive Oyl, I still don’t know. At the time I was watching Popeye early in the morning after I took my girlfriend to work and I would eat my homemade egg, sausage and cheese muffin to my greasy heart’s content.
But things changed in the 90s. First I would order a spinach salad in an attempt to impress more sophisticated women. Never really cared for the taste of it and cooked spinach really turned me off until I discovered they called it gomae in a sushi place and lathered it with peanut butter sauce.
And then, when women realized I was full of it, I decided to give up meat in protest and have been primarily vegetarian for over 20 years. Primarily means that I still eat my mom’s meatballs at Christmas and I have the occasional aforementioned sushi. But with my lack of funds and Christmas only coming once a year, primarily is a bigger number in recent years.
Also in recent years I’ve gotten into juicing. It is amazing how much energy you can get — it’s like it seeps right through your veins into your muscles. Beats caffeine to the punch. Which brings me to the original thought I had for this blog — spinach is dirty.
And I don’t know why. Since it is one of the primary greens that I juice I compare them side by side in the sink. And it’s like the dirt is hidden in there. You don’t see it in kale. You don’t see it in romaine lettuce. But then I realized why. Spinach is the runt. Spinach is the brat. Spinach is like a child actor who might have been cute but it didn’t last. Spinach is Lindsay Lohan.
You see, at the time of this writing, I paid $1.99 for a bunch of kale, $1.49 (on sale) for the romaine, and the spinach came in at 99 cents. That’s right, it’s not respected.
Kale right now is the “it” vegetable so it gets all the glory and the publicity and the mark-up. Romaine lettuce has enough of that “Whole Foods” feel that people think it should cost more than iceberg lettuce. But spinach, well, it’s just, I don’t know, functional.
It’s a workhorse, a power horse, it can be grown in 20 degrees above zero weather, I bet that pussy kale can’t handle that. Spinach is small, compact and tough. it rolls around in the dirt. I bet spinach is the bottom box when the produce guy rolls out the refills.
Which is why I like it. It’s dirty, it’ll spit and you and it stinks when it’s been in the garbage. If it’s good enough for Popeye it’s good enough for me.