Why was spinach once considered the ultimate vegetable?

Well, we know the answer to that, but what I want to know is this:

What IS the ultimate vegetable, nutrient-wise?

This is anecdotal, but it points toward one vegetable. Television news guy John Chancellor took a couple years off at one time in his career. He holed up in a flat in Paris, living on little more than baked potatoes and books. He claimed the potato is a nearly perfect food, but he may not have been an authority on the subject. (He did not claim to have eaten the books, btw.)

Link to column

And here are nutrition data for raw spinach (which I prefer over the mush you get when you “[boil] the daylights out of the stuff”) and baked potato. The vitamin deficiencies and excesses in these two vegetables seem to complement each other well, but I don’t doubt that a diet of mostly baked potatoes could sustain life for a couple years.

So Unca Cece knows that you don’t have to have it boiled to mush (which the writer may well have had in mind). It can be eaten fresh, in leaves like lettuce.

So, what does he mean that it “rates pretty high on the yukky scale”? What’s so bad about leaf spinach?

I’ve heard that cabbage produces the most nutritional value per cultivated acre, which explains why it’s a staple food among the poor in so many areas of the world. But that reflects not only on its concentration of vitamins etc. (which is in fact pretty high), but also on how densly and quickly it grows. The other cruciform vegitables (broccoli, cauliflour, Brussels sprouts, and kale, incidentally all actually the same species) are also very good, as is most any strongly-colored vegetable (which includes spinach, but from what I understand, dandelion is actually healthier).

Taters and spinach? I could get by on that diet, assuming the occasional steak could be tossed in for good measure. Thanks for all the answers!

Spinach = yum. Raw, boiled, wilted, steamed, creamed, whatever.
Taters = yum.

I always thought it was the Sweet potato. Not a fave of mine, however.

The Yukon Gold potato is better for you than the Idaho. Tastier, too.

I always thought it was the Sweet potatoQUOTE]

Perhaps that’s the real reason why Popeye always said “I yam what I yam?” :smiley:

I either eat spinach raw, or quickly sauteed in olive oil with garlic. There is nothing that can’t be improved by the application of sufficient olive oil and garlic.

I don’t know about you but I prefer my potatoes completely baked.

It’s called Centrum.

Well, actually, it lacks calcium, magnesium, potassium, and some other stuff.

But anyway, in this day and age, it is rather primitive to be trying to forage your micronutrients from plants.

Any ideas on what is the ultimate supplement?

I have to say, I’m with Cecil on the “spinach is gross” side, at least when it’s cooked into mush, but when I was in the hospital recovering from my lifesaving fix-the-botched-appendectomy surgery, the best meal I had was the creamed spinach soup. I couldn’t believe how great it tasted.

I love spinach. When I was a kid, I loved canned spinach. Nowadays, I prefer it raw in salads, on top of pizza (with feta!) and in Italian wedding soup. Mmmmm…Italian wedding soup.

I have always loved spinach, canned or fresh salad with pieces of hard boiled egg. Try cooked spinach flavoured with HP sauce. Yum.

Hm, there’s this thing that they grow in Russia (from which I emmigrated) that’s a lot like spinach but is sour. The sourness sure gives it a lot more flavor, and you can make soups with it or use it in salads. Anyone know what it’s called? I wanna try buying it. (In russian, btw, it’s called schevel, with the l being soft… a sound you don’t see in english).

Sorrel, or schav

Creme brulee?

Mmmmmmm, garlic creme brulee.

Mmmmmmmmmmm, ice creamed spinach.

What’s taters, precious?