In this week’s box you’ll find shiso, perilla frutescens, a Japanese herb in the mint family. You can recognize this plant and all mint family members by their square shaped stem. Shiso is typically purple but there are also green varieties and its typically used in Japan forumeboshi or pickled plums.
Last year we dropped CSA shares at Yoga Union and one day Key, a 96-year-old woman, who lives right next-door stopped gardening and introduced herself. After hearing our story, she told us how proud she was of us and how beautiful our flowers and vegetables were. She became a friend we sat with for a short visit every Wednesday telling us stories of the neighborhood she has lived in for over 60 years. Key gave us the shiso seed we planted and you are eating today. She has been growing the plant in Portland for years and loves how it smells.
We also sell the shiso to a bar and restaurant in McMinnville called Thistle who is muddling it in a gin and champagne cocktail called the Vibrant Valley. Enjoy shiso and say hello to Key when you’re in the neighborhood!