The Truth about Swiss Chard
Did you know that…..
- What is popularly called “Swiss chard”, is hardly Swiss at all?
- In fact, Swiss chard is also known as silverbeet. Possibly a more fitting name as, it really is a beet ~ just not of the fleshy root type. The plant we commonly call Swiss Chard is believed to have actually originated in Sicily, the little island in the Mediterranean Sea not so far off the boot of Italy, not Switzerland.
- Like the fleshy root beets, Swiss Chard is also a member of the chenopod family, along with quinoa and spinach.
- The term “chard” as used by Americans refers specifically to the leaf beet which puts its energy into producing nice leafy greens and does not develop an enlarged, fleshy root, like what most of us think of when we hear the word “beets”.
- Those fleshy bulbous roots so familiar to us today were unknown before the Christian Era. However, the relatively small roots produced by beets or chard, back in the day, were used solely for medicinal purposes.
Even as far back as the 4th century BC, Aristotle wrote about it, extolling chard’s medicinal qualities. And for good reason.