When you’re a kid, vegetables are the worst. With time, however, their appeal presents itself. That has to do in part with maturing taste buds, and from a better understanding of the importance of healthy eating. But it also happens simply as you get acquainted with the sheer size of the vegetable kingdom. You not only have diverse families, from tomatoes to taproots to tubers, but also a staggering diversity within those groups. And even when you think you know your veggies, there are more to discover. Here’s proof.
The Various Varieties of Vegetables is the latest from Pop Chart Lab, featuring some 400 crops in all. Practically the entire right side is devoted to green things of one sort or another—lettuces, salad greens, and cooking greens—with the right side covering your potatoes, your tomatoes, and a whole bunch of other green things, too. You’ll find familiar faces, like the humble bell pepper, alongside more curious items, like the all-white Ghostbuster eggplant. There are over 20 cucumbers alone.
In their relentless quest to illustrate and classify the world around us, the folks at Pop Chart have mapped categories ranging from coffee and pie to guitars and video game controllers. Vegetables, however, presented a unique challenge. "Once we started to scratch at the research, we realized that there was an almost insurmountable amount of data with regards to vegetables and their cultivars," explains Ben Gibson, the team’s creative director.
"With the advent of hybrid breeding and mutagenic manipulation, pretty much anyone can mix two tomato types in their backyards and arrive at a unique strain," he says. "One website listed over 70 cultivars of carrots. So we got to do our favorite thing: sift through mountains of info to arrive at something beautiful and representative of a basically infinite world; we hunted for the essential crops." It may not be totally comprehensive, but it’s certainly going to be good enough to make you one of the savvier shoppers at your local farmer’s market.
But what, you ask, about vegetables’ similarly healthful counterpart? The more colorful, more flavorful, potentially even more diverse world of fruit? Why not map those? "Why not indeed," says Gibson. "Let us do some research and get back to you."