Gardens are a lot like films: Similar to the schedules for making movies, there’s a brief window of time where certain foods will grow; selecting seeds is a lot like choosing the right actors and actresses; and there’s the details of the scenery and plot—do you plant hydrangeas next to roses? Will cucumbers be better off near the peppers or corn?
Hmm… actually, maybe everything is like gardening and filmmaking. Certainly, peculiarity and fecundity abound in the gardenscape, which brings to mind the oddly wonderfuly filmmaker Wes Anderson (“The Royal Tennenbaums”, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “Darjeeling Limited”). Does he garden? What would he grow?
Maybe you’d find some of these strange fruits and vegetables in Wes Anderson’s garden. And you can definitely try growing them in your own.
A romanescu looks and tastes like cauliflower and broccoli had a baby, or maybe something “The Life Aquatic’s” Steve Zissou might find under the ocean.
Star fruit or carambola are shaped like stars, certainly making them the food of choice for “Rushmore’s” Max Fischer. Juicy and sweet, they taste like a mix between a very ripe plum and pear, but even better.
photo: Girl Interrupted Eating
Salsify or Goatsbeard has a pungent root that tastes like oysters. It adds a savory flavor to soups and stews and might be something “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” would gnaw on while plotting how to steal eggs.
photo: veggie gardening tips
Paw Paw is the largest edible fruit in America and can weigh from 5 to 16 ounces, growing up to 6 inches in diameter. A ripe Paw Paw has a thin skin and becomes soft, tasting like a custard apple, which would probably be enjoyed by General Custer historian Eli Cash in “The Royal Tennenbaums.”
A Monstera Deliciosa is a tropical fruit covered in kernels that fall off when ripe, leaving a fruit that tastes like a cross between a banana and a pineapple. Though they’re no butterscotch sundae, Margot Tennenbaum probably ate a lot of these when she was lounging in Jamaica with her first husband.
photo: slogan maker
Pineberries are like strawberries in reverse. They’re white with red seeds, and have a similar flavor to regular strawberries. Something about their backwards way seems like they’d be a logical snack for Francis, Jack and Peter in “The Darjeeling Limited.”
photo: comstock garden
Black radishes look nothing like red radishes. But they taste similar. Because they don’t seem to fit where they should, they’d likely turn up on Dudley Heinsbergen’s plate while Raliegh St. Clair studied his every move in “The Royal Tennenbaums.”
Weird gardens are good gardens. Like Mr. Fox said, “there’s something kind of fantastic about that, isn’t there?”
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
Top image: annie.kisskiss