Giant Noble Spinach
Inventory, lb : 0
Giant Noble spinach is a large varietal with triangular to spade-shaped leaves that can grow 63 to 65 centimeters in diameter. The dark green leaves are broad, pliable, and thick, showcasing prominent veining and a lightly savoyed nature. The leaves also taper to a rounded tip on the non-stem end, while the stem is bright green, slender, and thin. Giant Noble spinach has a fleshy, subtly chewy, tender, and succulent, crisp consistency. The stems are also edible and provide a crunchy, lightly fibrous, and refreshing mouthfeel. Giant Noble spinach greens have a mild, sweet, and green taste with a slightly sweeter profile than common spinach mixed with a pleasant minerality. The stems also bear a mild, sweet, and vegetal flavor.
Giant Noble spinach is available in the winter through late spring.
Giant Noble spinach, botanically classified as Spinacia oleracea, is a specialty variety belonging to the Amaranthaceae family. The cultivar was developed in the early 20th century in The Netherlands and is one of the largest spinach varieties, growing up to thirty-eight centimeters in height and spreading wide with its broad, triangular leaves. Giant Noble spinach is a slow-bolting variety that matures 45 to 50 days after sowing. The cultivar is mainly grown in home gardens and is prized for its productive nature, large leaves, edible stems, resistance to common mosaic virus, and ability to withstand warm summer temperatures and cool conditions in the spring and fall. Giant Noble spinach is also sometimes known as Long-Standing Gaudry spinach, and the leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season for fresh and cooked culinary preparations.
Giant Noble spinach is a source of potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream, vitamin E to reduce inflammation, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system. Like other spinach varieties, the greens also provide magnesium to regulate optimal nerve functioning, folate to develop RNA and DNA, and other nutrients, including vitamin A, calcium, vitamin K, manganese, and vitamin B6.
Giant Noble spinach has a mild, sweet, and green flavor suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The large leaves can be washed, lightly torn, and used as a bed of greens for meats, tossed into salads, layered onto sandwiches, or used as a lettuce wrap. Giant Noble spinach can also be filled with dips as an appetizer, blended into smoothies, shredded on pizza as a topping, or incorporated into fresh wraps and tacos. In addition to raw dishes, Giant Noble spinach has a sturdy nature allowing it to hold up to heat. The greens can be sauteed or steamed as a simple side dish, wilted into pasta, stuffed into chicken breasts, creamed, or cooked and topped over crostini with cheese as an appetizer. The leaves can also be cooked and stirred into sauces and dips, braised as an accompaniment to seafood and roasted meats, added to omelets and frittatas, or stirred into casseroles and other hot dishes. Beyond raw and cooked preparations, Giant Noble spinach can be canned or frozen for extended use. Giant Noble spinach pairs well with citrus, berries, nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, cheeses including parmesan, gruyere, and mozzarella, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichokes, and aromatics such as garlic, ginger, and shallots. Whole, unwashed Giant Noble spinach will keep 7 to 10 days when wrapped in paper towels to absorb moisture and placed in a sealed container in the refrigerator's crisper drawer.
Giant Noble spinach was chosen as an All-America Selections winner in 1993. All-America Selections is a North American non-profit organization that tests and trials new plant varieties. The organization was established in 1932 to provide reliable and honest reviews of plant species found within gardening catalogs and is promoted through their slogan "Tested Nationally and Proven Locally." Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, gardening information was primarily spread through magazines, and the information provided in the articles was often incorrect or misleading due to the lack of gardening experience among magazine editors. In 1932, the president of the Southern Seedsmen's Association of Atlanta, Georgia, W. Ray Hastings, thought of creating an organization to help gardening enthusiasts learn about new plants. Hastings worked with seed companies to develop trial grounds where the new plants could be tested and evaluated by impartial judges. All-America Selections was quickly established, and the winners of the first trials were announced a year later. In the modern day, All-America Selections is the only national, non-profit plant trialing organization in North America, and approximately eighty trial sites are used annually in Canada and the United States to test the new varieties. All-America Selections winners are chosen by a group of industry professionals, and once selected, the winning varieties are announced through outside publications.
Giant Noble spinach is native to Voorburg, The Netherlands, and was developed from a trial conducted by Zwaan and Van Der Molen in 1926. The variety is thought to have been created from an inbred cross of Gaudry spinach, a monoecious cultivar, meaning it has male and female organs found on the same plant in different flowers. Most of the history of spinach breeding throughout the 18th and 19th centuries is unknown, as the seed companies largely kept their research private. At the end of the 18th century, the French seed company Vilmorin-Andrieux notably created three cultivars, a prickly-seeded spinach called Epinard d'Angleterre and a smooth-seeded variety known as Epinard de Hollande. In 1829, Vilmorin-Andrieux used the smooth-seeded Epinard de Hollande to produce a variety known as Epinard de Flandre. After continued breeding, two types of Epinard de Flandre spinach were created in the 19th century: Gaudry in 1843 and Viroflay in 1873. Experts hypothesize that most smooth-leaved spinach varieties were developed from Gaudry and Viroflay, and new programs within European seed breeding companies used these varieties to create larger, fleshier, and slow-bolting cultivars, including Giant Noble spinach in 1926. Today Giant Noble spinach is cultivated worldwide and is a specialty variety primarily localized to home gardens and select growers. The variety can sometimes be found through farmer's markets, distributors, and grocers, but it is mainly sold through online seed catalogs for gardeners to purchase and plant.