Beets. Is there any item of food more loathed by man than the heinous beet? Just the word alone, the very act of articulation, is enough to make the tongue whimper. Beets.
This is probably all my own fault. I learned my fear of beets in childhood. I liked broccoli, I was okay with Brussels sprouts, but beets – the third member of that alliterative triumvirate of kid ire – that was what got me. I dare say it’s possible I’d even have been able to tolerate that dripping, unfortunate vegetable if and when it had ever been served to me fresh and raw from the earth, untainted by the hands of man. Unfortunately, that was never my experience. I knew beets solely as they emerged from the darkened insides of tin cans: sodden by their odoriferous preservative bath, pre-cut into unidentifiable strips or chunks, gleaming a bright, queasy magenta utterly dissimilar to the color of any other natural product given to us by God. Beets. And why the hell are they always pickled? Pickled, or all things! Easily the most extreme, polarizing way to prepare an already borderline food. God damn beets.
It was with a heavy heart that I convinced myself I had to buy this marinated beet salad (ingredient: beets, some spices) and test its merits. That is my way, though. To give a second chance to what I don’t spare a second glance.
To my utter surprise and shock, I actually enjoyed! I expected “marinated” to simply be a euphemism for “pickled”, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the beets had a rich smoky and peppery flavor to them, a pleasant foil the familiar beety taste I was expecting – a result, no doubt, of the beets being roasted. Not just savory but pleasantly crunchy to boot, these guys enlivened an otherwise boring lunch by bringing a flavor that was strong, but not overpowering. To top it off, the dreaded beet after taste, which can linger on the tongue long after it’s welcome has worn out, was mild and short lived. Consider me flabbergasted.
My only complaint is the size and shape of the beet chunks. Weighing in at about the size of small ice cubes, these guys would be impossible to incorporate into any but he most outlandish of sandwiches, despite the claims of the package’s copy. They’ll do fine in salads or on their own, but I’d like to see some slimmer cuts for enhanced versatility.
Would I Recommend Them: Yes, even if you don’t like beets.
Would I Buy Them Again: These are my go to beets from now on.
Final Synopsis: Beets, edible at last.