“Beets taste like dirt at best”

Sweet Susi: Séguret in the garden at Warren Wilson College campus. Photo by Murray Lee

Susi Séguret is the director of the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts, a program that offers weeklong hands-on culinary experiences in Asheville, Sonoma, Calif., Ithaca, NY and Paris. The upcoming Asheville session will be held from July 15-21, on the campus of Warren Wilson College, and will include more than 30 of Asheville's top chefs and beverage experts. (Learn more about that at http://www.schoolofculinaryarts.org.) Séguret serves as a referee for the WNC Magazine Chefs Challenge Competitions and, being a bit of a Renaissance woman, is also an accomplished photographer and musician.

Séguret says that she’s tired of seeing beets everywhere. “Quite frankly, beets taste like dirt at best, and while they have become the fad as a forgotten vegetable, their ubiquitous appearance in many dishes adds nothing to the flavor profile, in my estimation,” she says. Do we detect a bit of personal bias against the red-staining root? “I do like the association with the earth and that other ubiquitous term, terroir, but taste comes first for me,” she says.

She’s not quite ready to give up on bacon, yet. “In fact, beets would be much better with bacon — try wrapping a little steamed baby beet in a slice of bacon and quickly sautéing it till the bacon is crisp, then laying it on a bed of steamed baby beet greens augmented with butter and crunchy sea salt. That would be tasty.”

Interested in learning how to prepare beets without having to actually, well, taste them? Check out Séguret’s recipe for chocolate beetroot cake.

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One thought on ““Beets taste like dirt at best”

  1. Travis Lowe

    Beets taste like dirt? No, beets are sweet. They are somewhat earthy, yes, but they also have the highest sugar content of any vegetable. Beet extracts are frequently used to sweeten a lot of foods. She’s right that they DO go well with bacon and chocolate. Perhaps S

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