Far From Môm
TGOTL thought it might be a variety of eggplant, and I was imagining it might be in the gourd family. Our waiter told us the vegetable is called “Môm” (sounds like “mome,” as in “mome raths”), and he very kindly agreed to bring one out from the kitchen, after much urgent beseeching on my part (you see, I do this all for you, my heart’s cherished readers). It turns out to be the leaf-stalk, or petiole, of a very large plant, a couple of feet long, and about two inches wide with a crescent-shaped cross-section.The Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database yielded two likely suspects, both in the taro family: Môn bạc hà or khoai môn. The discussion here is helpful. I am amazed to learn this is the decorative plant known in English as elephant’s ear. We’ve got some right here in
Plant Names in Yiddish by Mordkhe Schaechter identifies the Yiddish word for this plant as kolokasye. This blog could not exist without this book.
Colocasia/ elephant’s ear
Here’s a wonderful recipe for canh chua da hou (Buddhist sour soup) that seems just exactly right.
Sweetnicks will guide you toward other unexpected delights of the plant world.
All photos in this post are from Google--I am hoping to be reunited with my camera soon.
Here's a movie of the other kind of elephant ears.