"Grilled Okra With Tomato Vinaigrette"
The Washington Post (September 14, 2009)
"Green Spring Gardens assistant director Cindy Brown loves fried okra. 'It isn’t summer until I fry a big batch and my son and I burn our mouths as we eat them straight out of the pan,' she says. 'My husband never joins in the annual ritual because he thinks okra is slimy, and he hates the little tapioca-like seeds. I love the way they pop in my mouth. He thinks they feel like bug eggs.
" 'Well, my son is at college, and my husband and I are trying to lose weight, so no fried okra for dinner tonight...'...."
Any time that "feel like bug eggs" is used to describe food, the odds are pretty good that it's not on my 'top ten' list of favorites.
I don't know what I think about okra: I've never, to my knowledge, eaten any. And, since I can't remember eating something that felt like bug eggs, I probably haven't even had okra operating under an assumed identity.
"...like little bug eggs?!"
Princeton's WordNet defines okra as (among other things) "long green edible beaked pods of the okra plant" - also, in the context of gumbo, "long mucilaginous green pods; may be simmered or sauteed but used especially in soups and stews".
Okay: it says they're edible; and I believe it. Human beings have been described as opportunistic omnivores. There's precious little on this planet that we can't eat. In a way we're the opposite of Koalas, with their dependence on eucalyptus leaves.
On the other hand, just because we can eat something and live to tell: that doesn't mean that I'm particularly fond of everything that's "edible."
Let's see what happened to the the lady, the okra, and her husband:
"...'grilling okra reduces the calories and the sliminess. I haven’t converted my husband to an okra lover, but at least he didn’t make a face when he ate it.'..."
Wouldn't you know it: grilling not only is less calorific than frying (shazam!), but it de-slimes okra. To a certain extent.
This household isn't likely to try okra any time soon - but if we do, I'll recommend grilling those little bug eggs.