Can You Make Music with Vegetables?

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If you've ever wondered what you can do with those uneaten veggies in your fridge, an Austrian ensemble has an answer: Play music with them. That's what the Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna has been doing for more than 20 years, drawing huge crowds around the world who want to hear an assortment of songs played on vegetables. Before each performance, the group visits local markets to seek out some quality squash, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and whatever else they can carve and craft into instruments for the day's show. Whatever doesn't get played gets tossed into a soup and served to the audience after the performance. Susanna Gartmayer, who plays the radish bass flute and other assorted veggie instruments, told the BBC that the creative aspect is part of the fun. “Vegetables are unpredictable,” she said. “No two pieces of produce are the same. It’s a challenge.” The group has apparently met that challenge and more, having been invited to play at places like the Royal Albert Hall in London and for Paul McCartney at his 60th birthday celebration in the Ukraine.

Who says vegetables are boring?

  • Tomatoes are technically fruit, but the U.S. Supreme Court labeled them vegetables in an 1893 customs case.

  • Eating a lot of carrots or anything high in beta-carotene can temporarily give your skin a yellowish tinge.

  • The first food to be grown in space was the potato, the seeds of which were taken aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996.

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