- The Plate
Yum or Yuck? How Spinach Has Divided Us
Among America’s most under-appreciated holidays is March 26—officially, National Spinach Day.
Spinach is not a vegetable that most of us would expect to have a celebratory day. After all, generations of kids have turned up their noses at it. In a famous New Yorker cartoonfamous New Yorker cartoonfamous New Yorker cartoon of 1928, a mother tells her curly-haired tot, “It’s broccoli, dear,” to which the kid replies, “I say it’s spinach and I say the hell with it.” You go, kid.
Historically, spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is Persian. It probably originated in Iran, where it was known as isfanakh, which means “green hand,” and was prized as a kitchen herb. From there it traveled east to China, where it was being eaten