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POTE DE BERZES

 
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 341
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: POTE DE BERZES Reply with quote

The "pote de berzes"

Ingredients

A nice bunch of berzes
2-3 potatoes
Fatty salt pork (it is to say, tocín)
Chorizo
Blood sausage (it is to say, morciella)
A ham bone

The berzes (rape kale) are cleaned and then cut in small pieces (very small is better). Boil them for a few minutes (e.g. 10 min) and then drain them to remove the green water.
Now, we can add the potatoes in small pieces, the ham bone, the chorizo, the blood sausage, the fatty salt pork and water to cover all the ingredients. Let the mixture to cook for 1-1.5 hours until you see the stock is thick. Add salt as you like.

This receipt is similar to that of the Sena’s Kale soup that Bob described. Really, the Sena’s Kale soup is POTE ASTURIANO (it contains beans). Caldo gallego is different.

And this POTE DE BERZES has nothing to do with that of Xose that used ketchup!!! (ay, si mi abuela levantara la cabeza....)

My light version of pote de berzes is:
No blood sausage (I don´t like morcilla) and no ham bone. Also to remove as fat as possible, I use to boil the fatty salt pork and the chorizo before to put then with the berzes.
Here is an image of the typical asturian berzes.

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is
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Yaoundé

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marta, you're a chemist or biologist by training, right? For people across the Atlantic, what kind of kale should we buy that is closest to the Asturian or Galician berza?

I know there are basically two varieties of local kale, the Central Asturian and the West Asturian. Do you know their taxons?

Also, I've tasted the raw berza from a l.louría in West Asturias and the leaf was extremely sweet. I could chew on that forever. But not so with the kale here in the US.

Also, in your opinion, what is the difference between what we call caldo in West Asturias and putaxe, or pote de berzas?

Finally, have you ever heard the idiomatic expression "tar nas berzas" used to describe someone who is a bit absent-minded or clueless?
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Maestro Tomberi



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 170
Location: Gijón, Asturias

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference among caldo and potaje; and all of that regardless the location, is that the first one is somewhat like a chowder; with more or less liquid, while a potaje stands more close towards a stew.

Also, the expression for the last paragraph is ¡¡Vaya berza que tienes encima!!
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Maestro Tomberi, creador de fantasía y surrealismo
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is
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
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Location: Yaoundé

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Maestro. Up in Grandas de Salime, they call it caldo. But down in Allande they call it pote or putaxe.

I see your point about caldo being more soup-like and pote more consistent. Sometimes, though, the caldo is very hearty because of the navizas and the fabas.

A friend tried growing Asturian kale at a community grade in Washington, but the plant never thrived, much to our chagrin. However, local kale does very well.
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4427
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've grown berza here in Maryland. It did okay, but wasn't as large and healthy-looking as what I've seen in Asturias. I don't know if Asturians use pesticides on their berza. We have enough insects that bother col crops here that it's a problem. Since I don't use pesticides, my plants didn't look as impressive.

The kind I had was Col Berza Amarilla de Asturias, but there was no genus and species on the container. I've read that Asturian berza is Brassica oleracea var. medullosa, but don't know for sure. The article also said that there are many variations.
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berza

------------------

He cultivado la berza aquí en Maryland. Lo pasó bien, pero no era tan grande o tan sana, como la que he visto en Asturias. No sé si los asturianos utilizan pesticidas con la berza. Tenemos bastantes insectos que molestan a las plantas de col aquí. Ya que no uso pesticidas, mis plantas no se veía tan impresionante.

El tipo que tenía era Col Berza Amarilla de Asturias, pero no hubo género y la especie en la bolsa. He leído que la berza asturiana es Brassica oleracea var. medullosa, pero no lo sé con certeza. El artículo también dice que hay muchas variaciones.
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berza
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Joniwrite1



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 67
Location: Lake Tahoe, Nevada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:52 am    Post subject: Potage Reply with quote

Both of my Wela's grew berzas in Northern California, and you are right, they were sweet and more tender than kale. I am sure they must have used seeds family brought from Asturias.

Our family always refered to this as potage. There were several local Asturianos who made chorizo (and morciello, although I agree with Marta that it could easly be left out of my pot!) My uncle had a relative from Asturias build a smokehouse at his Lake Tahoe home, and he made some of the best chorzo I've ever tasted.
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Marta Elena Díaz García
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Joined: 07 Sep 2003
Posts: 341
Location: Molleda. Corvera de Asturias

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Berzas, berzotas.... Reply with quote

Hi Is,
I don´t know the taxons of the different kind of berzas.

The ones in the picture are the most common in the part of Asturias where I live. There are also others, greener that also can be used. We call them “berzes gallegues” (berzas gallegas) as they are used in Galicia to prepare caldo gallego.

From my point of view the main differences between caldo gallego and pote de berzes are:

a) caldo is more liquid than pote
b) Rancid salt pork fat is used (it is called “unto”); this gives to the caldo a typical taste, different.
c) Not only berzes, but also nabiza ( called “grelos”; they are the leafs of turnip, Brassica rapa) can be used. The grelos are typical from Galicia, although now you can find them in any market.

In Molleda (where I live), In February 2, we celebrate the Fiesta de la Candelaria (Our Lady of the Candles) and, after the Mass, we use to eat “pote de berzes”. All neighbougrs go to a Sidreria where a FANTASTIC POTE DE BERZES is waiting for us. We do enjoy it very much. It is an opportunity for most of us to talk each other and share a festive day.

Yes, I heard the expression “Vaya berza que tienes…” (meaning: you have your head in the clouds). I don´t know the reason for this expression, but probably it is due to the origin of the word “berzas” from latin (lat. vulg. virdĭa, pl. n. virdis, and this from virĭdis, green). If one is green is because don’t have experience, don’t understand, or don’t concentrate…..

Another adjective related with “berzas” is berzotas (augmentative of berzas) to refer to a person who is ignorant fool or fatuous.

Marta
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is
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Yaoundé

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all. I find this topic particularly interesting because there's a great deal of hype about kale and collard greens now. See this page as an example:

http://fyeahkale.tumblr.com/

But back in Asturias, I remember a kale-rich diet meant locals developed thyroid gland enlargement (goiter) because of iodine deficiency. The kale, at least the one consumed in West Asturias, triggered goiter to the point that people in Grandas, Allande, Cangas headed down to the coast in the 20th century to treat their condition by steeping in ocean seawater. Apparently, this helped offset the iodine deficiency inhibited by a kale-rich diet.

I wonder if anybody else has heard of this or knows of people who over-consumed the leafy vegetable and ended up in seaside spas. I'd also be interested in any info on the origins of Brassica oleracea in Spain's northwest, whether it's indigenous or a food import.
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4427
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wikipedia article I cited earlier says:
Quote:
[trans. Art] Berza is native to the coastal regions of central and southern Europe, especially of France and the UK.

but there is no citation for that, so we can't easily verify it.

----------------

El artículo de Wikipedia que mencioné antes dice:
Quote:
La berza es originaria de las regiones costeras de Europa central y meridional, especialmente de Francia y del Reino Unido.

pero no hay una cita, entonces no se puede verificarla.
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1706
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Kale Reply with quote

When my grandparents lived in Niagara Falls, my abuela used the local green kale (flat leafed rather than the curly leafed kind) grown by local farmers, including many Italians. I wouldn't describe it as sweet, but it was mild-flavored and delicious.
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