Journeying to a food lover’s Oz

Heidi Franklin
Aug 7 · 4 min read
Photo by ellaolsson on Pixabay

Today, seemingly out of nowhere, I thought of a long-lost fiend, an acronym really. You probably know him, too. If not, let me introduce you to my old buddy, my old pal, Roy G. Biv.

R is for red
O is for orange
Y is for yellow
And G is for green
B is for blue
I for indigo
And V is for violet
And that spells Roy G. Biv

-Lyrics from Roy G. Biv by They Might Be Giants

I said my first how do you do to Roy in my elementary school science class when we learned about the various properties of light and the colors comprising a rainbow.

Photo by 2092512 on Pixabay

More recently, in deference to developing more healthful (not perfect) habits, I’ve been tasting a lot less of the Skittles rainbow; opting instead for rainbows grown in the ground or dangling from trees. And this particular rainbow is delicious. Let’s break it down, with a little assistance from Chef Roy, shall we?

R is for red.

  • Close your eyes and imagine plump, vine-ripened tomatoes, warm from the sun, adding their sweet, saucy bite to a burger or bubbling away in mama’s slow-simmered marinara.
  • After being gently rinsed in a colander, droplets of water sparkling like diamonds along their pebbled surface, bright red raspberries tease your tongue with their delicate perfume as their seeds go crunch.
  • Strawberries and rhubarb wed to produce the ultimate marriage of sweet and tart. Their commingled flavors produce the ultimate pie or zippy little chutney.

O is for orange.

  • All hail winter squash! Butternut, acorn, kuri, and kabocha. Their brilliant orange flesh yields velvety soups, a mash that’ll show potatoes a thing or two, and topped with a touch of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter? C’mon!
  • Enjoy the sweet, honeyed taste of a persimmon tickling your tongue or topping your yogurt.
  • A paper-thin slice of prosciutto, wrapped around a candied wedge of cantaloupe, creates sweet, umami fireworks in your mouth.

Y is for yellow.

  • Sunny mango slices dancing with coconut are the star of a desert you must try, Thai mango sticky rice.
  • What is summer without biting into a fresh ear of sweet corn, the succulent kernels bursting in your mouth.
  • At your next barbecue, try crowning scoops of slow-churned vanilla bean ice cream with caramelized rings of grilled pineapple.

G is for green.

  • The deep, earthy, licorice-tinged taste of tarragon shines in a bright, snappy vinaigrette, perfect for drizzling over spring salads.
  • Baby bok choy, stir fried with a bit of soy, honey, and ginger, rests perfectly atop grilled salmon.
  • Celebrate the flavors of the southwest with enchiladas stuffed with melty Monterey Jack cheese and slathered in a smoky tomatillo salsa.

B is for blue.

  • Bump you brunch up to the next level with blue corn pancakes topped with toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.
  • During the winter, a generous schmear of blueberry jam on toast or an English muffin, invites the flavors of summer to visit.
  • Juniper berries aren’t just for making gin anymore. Grind some dried berries with garlic and ginger for a flavorful rub that makes meat and poultry sing.

I is for indigo.

  • Three words: Bubbling. Blackberry. Cobbler.
  • Drizzle some freshly sliced plums with honey, caramelize them in a pan, and sprinkle with a touch of crumbled goat cheese to create a knock-out headdress for your salad.
  • Dried currants add sweet, tarty, and chewy pizzazz to scones and shortbread.

V is for violet.

  • Open a bottle of bodacious red, and enjoy slices of crispy, breaded eggplant nestled between layers of gooey, stretchy, melted mozzarella and some of mama’s slow-simmered marinara.
  • Originally cultivated in the high altitude of South America, purple potatoes lend their deep lavender hue to a variety of dishes. Try roasting them with a generous splash of olive oil, garlic, and sweet smoked paprika.
  • Create a dazzling summer salad by combining ruby red tomatoes with olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, a dash of sugar, and salt and pepper, and some snazzy purple basil leaves.

What is your favorite way to eat the rainbow? I’d love to hear what tickles your taste buds, in the comments.

© Heidi Franklin 2019.
All rights reserved.

One Table, One World

People coming from different cultural backgrounds sharing seats at the table to dine, to laugh, to cook, to heal and most of all to share the stories of their unique journeys all over the world.

Heidi Franklin

Written by

Heidi Franklin is a writer and adventurer. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband and an always-on-the-go terrier named Charlie. Twitter: @PNWRaconteur

One Table, One World

People coming from different cultural backgrounds sharing seats at the table to dine, to laugh, to cook, to heal and most of all to share the stories of their unique journeys all over the world.

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