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Oct 11, 2010 06:14 PM

Different types of cress and watercress?

Whe knew there was more than one type?

In addition to watercress (Nasturtium officinale) there's

GARDEN CRESS (Lepidium sativum) which has sprouts with a hot-sweet peppery bite like horseradish

KOREAN WATERCRESS (minari) The taste is vegetal and very slightly bitter; it adds a great crunch and flavor.

NASTURTIUM (Tropaeolum majus) is grown both for its delicious gold to scarlet blossoms and its lily pad-shaped leaves. It originated in South America, was brought from Peru to Europe in the late 17th century, and now grows proliferously in the south of France.

UPLAND CRESS (Barbarea verna) Its flavor is close to watercress with a mild flavor, lingering sharpness, and delicate, peppery taste.

Except for the Korean cress, the info is from Chow's ingredient database Much more info in this link

Any other varieties and how do you use them? *

I became interested in watercress after having a cooked version and learning it is a superfood

Warm watercress … and some cool ideas for this superveggie

I want to look for and try other varieties.

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  1. I know that on Top Chef Masters Rick Bayless had a mini meltdown in Whole Foods because he wanted "real watercress."

    1. in the UK you can generally buy regular watercress which you see in the USA and the one that is similar to alfalfa sprouts in appearance but greener known as mustard and cress. It's easy to grow the latter cress on blotting paper and kids often grow it in preschool. Both are common in egg sandwiches but more often it's mustard and cress used for sandwiches. I am guessing that garden cress is the English mustard and cress. Peppery flavoured watercress is the one used for soups which is the larger leaf dark green one.

      a quick look at google showed me that mustard and cress was a mix of garden cress and mustard seeds sprouts - I did not know but I guess it makes sense as they are kinda mildly peppery/hot.