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Arugula Facts

It is used as a leaf vegetable, which looks like a longer leaved and open lettuce. It is rich in vitamin C and potassium. It is frequently cultivated, although domestication cannot be considered complete. It has been grown in the Mediterranean area since Roman times, and is considered an aphrodisiac. Before the 1990s it was usually collected in the wild and was not cultivated on a large scale or researched scientifically. In addition to the leaves, the flowers (often used in salads as an edible garnish), young seed pods and mature seeds are all edible.

It is now cultivated in various places, especially in Veneto, Italy, but is available throughout the world. It is also locally naturalised away from its native range in temperate regions around the world, including northern Europe and North America. In India, the mature seeds are known as Gargeer.

It has a rich, peppery taste, and has an exceptionally strong flavour for a leafy green. It is generally used in salads, often mixed with other greens in a mesclun, but is also cooked as a vegetable or used raw with pasta or meats in northern Italy and in coastal Slovenia.

(especially Koper/Capodistria), where it is added to the cheese burek. In Italy, rocket is often used in pizzas, added just before the baking period ends or immediately afterwards, so that it will not wilt in the heat.

On the island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, a digestive alcohol called rucolino is made from the plant, a drink often enjoyed in small quantities following a meal. The liquor is a local specialty enjoyed in the same way as a limoncello or grappa and has a sweet peppery taste that washes down easily.

In Egypt the plant is commonly eaten with ful medames for breakfast, and regularly accompanies local seafood dishes.

Arugula is high in vitamins A and K, and also folic acid. It is a good source of zinc, potassium, calcium and iron .

Books about Arugula

Humpty Dumpty Health Book
Humpty Dumpty's Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids

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