Why arugula in everything nowadays?

Now I’m imagining the Arugulas and Kales in a gang fight showdown.

Count me as someone who doesn’t get the “strong flavor and painful to eat” factor. I know a couple of people who experience that, so they are always making sure to ask if salads/sandwiches contain it. But I honestly don’t get it. Maybe my taste buds are deader? And my mouth interior less sensitive? Dunno.

I make a recipe often for lemon butter chicken pasta that calls for 3 cups of chopped arugula that my family loves. I’ve tried it substituting spinach but everybody prefers it with the arugula. I thing it has more of an earthy peppery taste.

Montagues and Capulets?
Hatfields and McCoys?
Sharks and Jets?
Or those guys from the Michael Jackson video?

Maybe Clint Eastwood could come in and play them against each other.

just realised that this is very much in line with my meal in Pisa.

They served it with a crusty bread and the elements in the two meals are very similar. The leaves, strong meat, strong cheese, vinagrette. How can it fail?

Believe or not, people like different things.

As mentioned above:

Personally, I hate the stuff. In a regular-place salad I can usually eat around it, but in a more upscale joint (where the salad looks like the sous-chef’s lawn clippings) you can’t avoid it.

Some people like the taste of cilantro, some people say it tastes like soap. Turns out it’s a genetic thing. To me arugula just tastes bitter. So I don’t eat it. I quit ordering salads in restaurants a few years ago because of it.

Arugula haters in this thread, how do you feel about radishes? To me they have a quite similar taste. Oddly, I’m not crazy about radishes; I don’t mind them but given a choice I’d leave them out every time - but I love arugula. I think it’s my favorite salad green.

Radishes neither enthrall nor repel me. I generally only eat them as part of a Mexican relish, however.

Radishes are ok. Not my favorite, but I can eat them. I would object to putting them in a sandwich, though.

Surprisingly, sliced, salted radishes on buttered toast is an excellent combination.

They can meet in the middle. I love cilantro and also find it tastes soapy. Onion can be sharp, peppers can be spicy , and arugala spicy but people can still enjoy them. The trick is to learn to appreciate that polarizing property. Or don’t, no one really cares. I don’t do sweets but they’re popular and I’m not going to call overly sweet donut filling ‘devil’s spooge’ or similar that mayo haters may use.

I have a faint memory, probably imagined, of finding myself hungry at a too-fancy place (country club or pain in the ass hotel, etc) and ordering some chicken wings. They came on a bed of arugala which I’m sure the kitchen threw in during a moment of panic. After eating the wings, the now warm greens were looking pretty sad, sopping with salty, tangy wing sauce and fryer drippings but to which I gave a test nibble. Awesome! I don’t think it will ever gain much momentum but wing sauce could totally serve as a viable salad dressing for a tasty salad green.

Arugula started being a thing about 20 years ago, at least in NYC. You would be served a hot Italian cutlet atop a bed of arugula, the idea being the heat of the chicken or veal would reduce it to softness.

Arugula started being a “snooty” thing when President Obama mentioned liking it, around 2009. LIke Dijon mustard on his burger. It’s been mocked as an “uppity” food ever since.

I personally don’t care for it. Too “peppery” for a green. LOVE radishes, though.

I get peppery way more than bitter, but I’m sure that might just be down to individual variation in taste perception. I like a bit of peppery in my greens, so I’m good with it. It is basically the default green at my favorite deli sandwich place (which is actually a butcher shop). I’m fine with it in a salad mix as well, but I probably wouldn’t enjoy a salad of just arugula - that would be a bit one note.

But I’m curious about the texture complaints. I find it pretty soft myself and not at all prickly. Different cultivars maybe? The raw greens I dislike are all the tougher ones - spinach and kale in particular. Cooked spinach is awesome, raw is very much not. Horses for courses, as always.

Arugula definitely has some sort of spiciness to it, that’s about as well described by “peppery” as by any other term. And I also wouldn’t want a salad of just arugula, but then, I don’t think I would want a salad of any one vegetable.

And kale definitely has a suboptimal texture, but I’ve never found anything wrong with raw spinach (though cooked spinach can be fine or terrible, depending on how it’s cooked).

I’m with you on this. Kale is always too sturdy, even cooked. Whereas with raw spinach, I find it depends on how completely the leaf stems are removed: stems removed = soft, stems not removed = more of a bite-back.

I make beans and greens using kale or collards. Kale and collards stand up to the long simmering necessary for the dish.

  1. Massage kale with a little lemon to add to a salad raw.

  2. Spinach in all forms is generally on my “no thank you” list.

Arugula is awesome to me because it adds a peppery flavor without spiciness (or a spiciness level I can handle). Yes I could just add black pepper from the pepper mill, but I want the flavor combination from the menu, not added on by me. EVERYTHING is spicy now - it’s cajun, it’s buffalo, it’s chipotle, it’s andoule, it’s jalapeno - and I can’t eat any of that. If I want any flavor, something with a bit of arugula really makes a meal for me!

I have had a brie/jam/arugula/crostini appetizer like @Grrr describes, and it was probably the most delicious thing I ate I 2020.