A question about pain de sucre

pain de sucre

Pain de sucre; how much do you like it?

Pain de sucre, also known as sugar loaf chicory, looks like a pale, solid conical cos lettuce, but is actually part of the radicchio family. It has a milder, sweeter flavour and lots of crunch. I am a fan, both as a grower and a cook.

Thanks for taking the time to get this far; only one question to answer.

Thanks for your help
Guy Watson

115 responses to “A question about pain de sucre

  1. There is a problem with the pain de sucre blog – I just got a lot of coding instead of the question!

  2. Infinitely preferable to the eternal cabbage . . .

  3. I got the coding gobbledygook too, but clicked to the next page and the proper box opened nicely.

  4. i would have liked to answer your questions but they were in gobblede gook. Sorry

  5. The actual link (and website when I clicked on it) came up in machine code, so maybe that needs re-doing?

    I think I like pain du sucre, but am not sure from your description whether I have actually tasted it. Have we had any in the boxes?

  6. I also had trouble with the link, page would not open…..so I copied and pasted the link and managed to open it that way. I order every week from Riverford, but do not have a veg box…..pain de sucre is an aquired taste and texture, tried the gratin recipe, using cheese sauce with yoghurt instead of cream and parmisan. Not bad although my wife was not too impressed? I think that I may try it again. It keeps well.

  7. Couldn’t access questionnaire on blog but very immpressed with pain du sucre as an alternative salad item. Didn’t find it bitter. Still crispy after a wsek. Keeping very well in fridge. Definately happy to have it included in my box again. Haven’t tried cooking it.

  8. I eat pretty much everything but I really cannot stand pain du sucre. I swop my box choice if I see it coming! I’ve tried it fresh and cooked and I just hate it. Grim.

  9. I found it rather huge to store in the fridge without damaging it. Tastewise it was delicious. We ate it raw in salads, mixed with sweeter leaves. I would welcome it again as an occasional visitor to the box.

  10. Like chicory, this can have a beneficial effect on the digestive system reducing constipation and with other health benefits, although I am unclear from my research whether pain de sucre contains the same levels of “good stuff” as chicory.
    I would welcome more chicory in the boxes for this reason. The pain de sucre is large for 2 people but does keep well in the fridge. Bitterness can be over come with cooking but again I am unsure how this affects the inulin (dietary fibre) within it which contributes to reducing constipation.
    Maybe Guy you could pull in a nutritionist to your team so that we could learn of the health benefits of all your food – given that it is cost effective that is!

  11. Hi sorry to say I really hated pain de sucre. Like other people I love majority of veg but no way to cook this in way that curbs excessive bitterness – will avoid in future !

  12. Surprising at first, love it as an alternative to lettuce, esp in mixed salads, as it cuts the oiliness of avocado, and sets off apple or tomato nicely. Keeps very well, and is beautifully formed. Thank you for introducing me to something different – one of the lovely things about your veg boxes.

  13. I can’t find a link for the survey but have to say it wasn’t for me. I found it extremely bitter and no amount of dressing it up could change my mind. The rest of the box was absolutely delicious! Just this second recieved my box and am again delighted by the goodies inside.

  14. I absolutely, positively hated it. I’m vegetarian, my sister a vegan and we eat a lot of vegetables. But this vegetable is beyond bitter; it doesn’t matter how you cook it, or what dressing/sauce you eat it with, the taste is extreme. I will also change my box if I see it coming – or even go without. I’ve had it in my box for three weeks in a row. Given that I don’t like it, and can’t give it away, it ends up in the compost (and that’s a real shame!). Can we have a pain de sucre amnesty? I would be happy to give mine away to a happy home. As always, the rest of my veg box was lovely.
    I would rather be without (one veg short in my veg box) than be wasteful. Please leave it out of my box and re-gift to other Riverford customers!

  15. Catherine Davidson

    Maybe it has something to do with physiognomy, There are a lot of fans here but I also find it inedible and much too bitter. We are a family of vegetable enthusiasts but after taking up too much room in my fridge, it has ended up in the compost as a gift for the worms. I’ve also had it every week for the last few weeks, and receive the large and unwelcome visitor with a sinking heart. I love the challenge of trying out new vegetables and making them work, but this one has me stumped.

  16. Love the pain de sucre, raw or cooked, also shredded and added at the end of cooking a vegetable soup. Good for the digestive system. Good value, very easy to use, no waste and keeps very well in the fridge.
    Hope Riverford will carry on offering it!

  17. Once a year is enough. Two weeks on and we’re almost through with it. At least it keeps well. Others like it, so keep it in occasionally. Very occasionally. We have found it too bitter in salads but struggle on. One day we may be fans!

  18. Link not working for me either. We’ve really enjoyed pain de sucre. I didn’t think of cooking it, we’ve had it raw in salads much as you would use chicory.

  19. Only had it once, and used as a substitute for radicchio in a pearl barley and chorizo risotto recipe from the guardian. Worked very well and was popular with the whole family. Probably wouldn’t want it weekly but happy to experiment with it!

  20. Sorry I don’t like Paindsucre. I managed to eat it covered in salad cream but my family pushed it around the plate. I have avoided any boxes that contain it over the past two weeks.

  21. We found pain de sucre too large and too bitter. We have had a box for at least fifteen years and normally love the exotic vegetables that you send; but do not enjoy pain de sucre.

  22. We thought the pain de sucre bitter when raw, but okay cooked. The guinea pigs absolutely love it if we have any left!

  23. I absolutely hate pain de sucre. I can’t even think of another vegetable I don’t like, but I really hate this! I was going to email independently to ask if it was possible to not receive this again. I composted all but the first one we received.

  24. Love having new seasonal vedge but would also like some old style turnips as well . I really enjoy cooking from your wonderful vedge box and I am a very Happy Customer.

  25. I was shocked by the bitterness of this in my salad, and thinking it was a bad one, I checked the veg guide and found it was meant to be bitter. I added a good serving of balsamic/olive oil dressing which made it edible, almost enjoyable. It keeps well in the fridge, but since my family won’t eat it I would only like it occassionally. Talking of bitter, my fruit loving kids won’t eat the blood oranges as they’re so bitter, and I don’t want to start sprinkling sugar on them and encourage bad habits!

  26. We really loved it.
    Our guinea pigs also went wild for it, like the commenter above!
    Please send more. 🙂

  27. Pain de sucre great- more very welcome. Would also like more orange rather than red beetroot please.

  28. Im not a fan of it, far too bitter for me. Im not a lover of chicory either, never found a way of cooking it to get rid of the bitter taste.

  29. This is the only vegetable I’ve tasted and do not like. I was loathed to throw it out, but it seemed to get more bitter the closer to the middle we got. Yuk.

  30. I loved the pain de sucre and also liked that it kept for awhile. Please send more! It would also be great to have radiccio and red and green chicory as regular items – but that might be too much for your customers who expect vegetables to taste like breakfast cereal.

  31. We strughled a bit with this. Raw it was not nice. OK fried with coconut oil, ginger and chilli, but not great. We only managed 1/2.

    Maybe good candidate for a riverford recipe idea.

  32. Hmmm… too bitter for salads; and its not a time of year when we eat many salads. Tried it in a gratin – ok, but not worth a special effort. Now trying to ferment some into kimchi instead of chinese leaf. Have also swapped boxes to avoid. Certainly wouldnt want more than 1 or 2 each winter. More recipe ideas would help a bit, but surely there are more interesting veg to grow and eat?

  33. I’m the only one in the family who eats it. I found it a bit tough for eating raw, but it wilts well when fried up with some onions and tomatoes. had it with some kippers on toast, which was lovely!

  34. My pain de sucre did not look like the picture at the top of this survey. It was almost all white (ish), and didn’t look too appetising. I ate a bit of it with salad, but no-one else in the family could manage it. Cooking it with lots of cream and cheese doesn’t work if you are having to watch colestrol. I have chosen boxes without it since the first one (which is still lingering/loitering in the fridge). Thanks for the opportunity to try it.

  35. I haven’t had any pain de sucre in my boxes yet but extra variety is always a good thing.

  36. Maggie Rettenberger

    I would not go out of my way to buy it but if it is in the box, I will cook and eat it. I tried using a few leaves raw in salad, it was too bitter. The rest was quick stir-fried with bacon (and chilli flakes, garlic), and it tasted all right. My husband rather liked the slight bitterness of this new veg.

  37. This is welcome here, versatile and useful. and a real asset in winter salad. I have very little storage space and the chicory coped with the central heating for a long time. Because it keeps so well (for me) I would like to buy it only as an extra when I require it.

  38. I tried the pain de sucre raw and found it disgustigly bitter. I’definitely have rather had a pointed cabbage!

    However, I followed the ‘cauliflower cheese’ style recipehon the card as (adding calibrese broccoli for good measure) and it turned out to be absolutely delicious.

    I can’t do that every time because I’m trying to avoid toohjuch dairyhin my diet. I wonder if it is robust enough to be stir fried in butter and chill?

  39. (just read the other domments and it lopks like it will fry well. Keep it coming I say! – I wouldn’t choose to buy it but put it in a box and I’ll akehusehof it!)

  40. Really welcome addition to the box for me, but then I am a fan of all things bitter – I buy cardoons as often as possible when they are in season. It kept well in the fridge and was tasty raw and cooked. I appreciate receiving unusual veg that rarely appears in the UK, so keep it coming I say.

  41. Horrible – even the tortoise and chickens wont eat it! I love the chance to try new things which is why the box is usually great but this was a very big NO. Hate wasting anything so even resorted to trying to cook it last night with blue cheese (like radicchio). It (perhaps unsurprisingly) just collapsed and still tasted horrid. Regrettably threw it away this morning only to be faced with another one in my box today! Aargh!!!

  42. I enjoyed it raw and did not find it too bitter. It also kept well in the fridge. However I had less success (and enjoyed it less) when it was cooked, though my recipes were somewhat experimental! How is it eaten in France?
    I used to have an allotment and always tried to grow some more unusual vegetables, so I enjoy trying something new and it makes a change from the usual winter vegetables.

  43. We enjoy a medium Veg Box every week and love the variety you provide. I understand the need to find winter veg however I have to draw the line with pain de sucre, we tried eating it raw in a salad and then tried cooking it with garlic, onion and some lemon – we found it totally disgusting both ways! I can’t remember the last time i didn’t finish food because of the taste but i am sorry to say we couldn’t finish it either time. I will avoid this vegetable in future – a very acquired taste! This in no way reflects the usual delicious food we get from you which we are delighted with!

  44. We love love LOVE our large Riverford veg box every week, and when we read about the new ‘Pain de Sucre’ that we were going to get to try we thought, bring it on. So we are sorry, as much as we want to like Pain de Sucre we just can’t, it’s too bitter. As one poster above says, the leaves almost seems to get more bitter the nearer to the heart you get. We will plough on through the two that came in today’s box, (!) but please no more!

  45. Not a fan – find it too bitter, swap boxes if I spot it coming.

  46. I really liked it. Enjoyed it in salads with a sweeter element and a good vinegary dressing. Will definitely try some of suggestions above too. My wife didn’t love it but as a winter salad found it passable!

  47. I made the mistake of thinking it was some sort of lettuce, and tried to identify what on earth was wrong with my dinner that it tasted so awful. After a bit I realised it must be what I now know is pain de sucre, and tried to persist. Finally threw away half my dinner. Then tried to cook it into my partner’s dinner as he’s taken on board my chicory and other bitter vegetables before. Even he couldn’t eat it and he doesn’t turn his nose up at anything! A pan of food in the compost this time. What a waste!

  48. I loved it! Never tried cooking it, as I was far too busy enjoying it raw as a delicious salad. I added a few raisins, which was lovely with the bitterness. I bet it would be yummy with some mango or other fruit chucked it.. Mmmhh.. niiice.. : )

  49. We LOVE the Pain de Sucre. The flavour is gorgeous, and far excels it’s rather “iceberg” type appearance.

    Let’s have it again! We will certainly be ordering it.

    (As a related aside, your lettuce by comparison, – even during the late summer, can be rather without character, those crunchy pale ones – Batavia?- They don’t do a lot for us. – Could you think darker green? )

  50. I don’t like any of the bitter salad vegetables including the batavia lettuce. I often choose which box to have to avoid your lettuce because yours are always bitter and neither of us likes it.

  51. I LOVE Pain de sucre. Chicoree used to be a winter regular in Germany and Switzerland in our organic Vegbox and does not seem as common over here so anything slightly bitter and crunchy in Winter (also radicchio) very welcome. I use it as a staple winter salad, sometimes with Oranges, Apple pieces and Walnuts. Never cooked it as it then looses the cherished bitterness. Like Chicoree it is very easy in the handling to make into salad when after peeling of the old outer leaves (even if it has waited for its time in the fridge for a bit) it might not even want to be washed much and then chop chop… My grandmother always said to chop winter salads (like Endive) very finely.

    Writing this made me want Pain de sucre NOW!

  52. The only thing that’s been in my veg box that has sat in the fridge for days,then sat on my compost heap for longer definitely not one of my favourites!

  53. We eat a lot of vegetables. I like to think of myself as being on paleo diet, which means eating lots of green vegetables. However, I did not like pain de sucre, and the rest of my family, ranging in age from 3 to 70, did not like it either. We did try, but could not eat more than a small piece of a leaf each.

  54. It could and does work in the dishes where you would normally use some bitter chicory for flavour contrast, but the size of the pain de sucre head is like five times needed for one dinner, and the rest just goes off very quickly, even in the fridge. Not to mention that I would not feed the family with bitter salad every night three weeks in a row.
    I am normally too lazy to swap boxes or even to check the contents, so I just throw it away now. And it came again today, taking a fifth of the bumper box, quite disappointed.

  55. I absolutely adore it, but my partner almost hates it. The marmite of the vegetable world.

  56. Really great, love it raw or wilted with Lardon and herbs – lovely stuff.

  57. I don’t mind bitter leaves in small amounts but pain du sucre is too big! It’s too over-powering in quantity and flavour for one meal. Sorry to say but the last one rotted. We ate some of it, but not that you would notice it was so big…

  58. Aha, so that’s what it is. Tried it raw but no thanks. Then put it in a stir fry which wasn’t a great success as it wilted quickly of course but it became edible at least.

  59. Claire Trenholme

    We neither love it, nor hate it, somewhere in between. It’s a little overpowering on its own, but we find it adds interest to a mixed salad, and is welcome as an occasional visitor to our boxes!

  60. Loved the pain de sucre, baked with tomatoes, onions and celery, raw in salads. Much better than run of the mill cabbage or lettuce. Thanks.

  61. We hate it. Horrible bitter taste. Only waste in our box

  62. Hello, we don’t really like pain de sucre because of the bitterness. But it keeps well in the fridge, we had one and ate it over two weeks. We hate it cooked ( but maybe we didn’t accommodate it properly) so we made salads, usually 1/3 pain de sucre with a mix of shredded carrots, cabbage and/or parsnips, some sliced fruits like oranges or apples, some nuts, some dried fruits and a sweet vinegary sauce. My only problem is the sheer size of it as it is only the two of us. Having one once or twice a year (but not twice in row) would be okay but no more for us. Otherwise we love the boxes and the opportunity to try different things every week, I am always excited when we get it, it feels a little like Christmas.

  63. Is great as long as not in the box every week. most of both got used up in different recipes with some successes some not but that’s cooking. Is better than a regular lettuce that was appearing every week. it’s the middle of winter…. Lettuce Every week really?

  64. Really struggling to find a way to get any of my 4 children to eat it. Would be happy not to see it in my box as hate waste and I feel that is what is going to happen to the one in this week’s box would have swapped box this week if Id seen it on the list but it was swapped in.

  65. Just too bitter for us, the only part of our large less roots box that we don’t eat.

  66. Love this

    1st mistook for iceberg type lettuce and so made salad this was disgusting as wrong balance of flavours with this leaf
    2nd cooked as your recent roasted broccoli with lemon garlic chilli which was Delicious and enjoyed by all guests ( adult ! )
    LABEL ( for those who are new – I know it now )
    RECIPIES which tie in with new ingredients in packet – you did this with tomatillos and padron peppers
    Think it needs another a further substantial leaf veg also in box which I think you have done anyway
    Please send again

    Sent from my iPhone

  67. Hated it! I don’t eat dairy so couldn’t find any way of cooking that would hide the taste. Tried it in soup and it ruined the soup. Very bitter. I think it could be a matter of genetics/tastebuds. If you like it, it must be hard to understand how inedible it is for some of us.

  68. Horrible! We enjoy almost all the veg you send, but this was far too bitter, whether raw or cooked. We would much prefer more pointy cabbage, or savoy.
    We used to enjoy the ‘Roots and Greens’ box every winter, but now we no longer get the choice.

  69. I used it the Riverford radicchio risotto recipe, but with white wine rather than red: tasty. And roasted quarters are good. But then I’m also happy with it raw in sandwiches, so am clearly in the bitter-tolerant group.

  70. Both myself and my husband thought it was just OK in a salad (which we eat every day, all year round) with lots of other different leaves to disguise the taste a bit. It’s a little too bitter for my taste but I understand the health benefits of the stronger tasting leaves so we will persevere. Still have half left from last weeks box, maybe I’ll add some chopped apple or pear to the next salad … I appreciate being able to try new things but I wouldn’t want this one too often.

  71. We both loved it. Love winter salads, and look forward to char grilling or roasting with a sprinkle of brown sugar.

  72. I have enjoyed the Pain de sucre as a winter salad, although it is rather large for one person to get through! With a sweet dressing (honey, mustard, lemon, sunflower oil) and sweet fruit eg. dates, grapes it’s delicious. I have missed being able to have curly endive, the small raddichio and little ‘ordinary’ chicory…the bitter leaves work well in so many ways. Gorgeous with warm mushrooms and croutons (bacon if you are not veggie like me!)

  73. Annabelle Valentine

    I do like pain de sucre, and would welcome more bitter veg, but my partner isn’t so keen, so I eat the whole thing myself, which takes a while…. But I am definitely not complaining as it does keep well.

  74. Afraid pain de sucre joins Jerusalem artichoke as the only Riverford veg we consider inedible, and not for want of trying – cooked it on 3 different occasions (a large one goes a long way) with various sweet and acidic flavourings, but bitter, bitter, bitter – yuk!

  75. I didn’t like it raw, but would be prepared to have a go at cooking it. Any recipe tips?

  76. The first one received was incredibly bitter, both raw and cooked, so changed boxes after that to avoid it. However, got another one, when I failed to swap last week, which I have just tried, after reading newsletter, and it doesn’t seem quite so bad. When going to the Recipe section to look for hints to make it more palatable, it comes up with ‘no results found’, which doesn’t really help. (I’m sure I read hints somewhere on cooking suggestions, but can’t find them now). This is the only veg which I would have put straight onto compost…all other fruit and veg is usually great.

  77. I have been buying veg boxes for years and almost never changed them until recently when I had unpalatable bitter leaves. They can be eaten by smothering them in sugar and cream but still aren’t nice. More kale and purple sprouting broccoli would be a better alternative, please.

  78. Loved it in soup, raw and stir fried. As long as you balance it with something sweet (eg parsnip or peas in soup, honey dressing in salad) everyone eats it, even my six year old. Personally I love the bitterness, it’s so nice to taste unexpected things that surprise your palate. More please whilst still in season.

  79. Been thoroughly enjoying it and the chicory, would love to see next year. Maybe an add on item rather than box as can see would not be to everyone’s taste

  80. I thought paindesucre would be more like lettuce. Leaflet that came with it warned that it is on the bitter side, so decided to cook it according to the recipe provided. It still tasted bitter and my husband and I only managed to eat a bit of it before giving up and throwing in it into the bin.
    I would not buy again.

  81. Absolutely loved the Pain de Sucre. We eat a lot of salad and the crispness and bitterness were a wonderful addition,similar in flavour and texture to radiccio. We were also impressed by its fridge life. More, definitely!

  82. I gave the ‘one or twice’ answer, but would also add it occasionally as an extra. Every two weeks would be too much in this two-person household, as the heads are quite large.

  83. i enjoy it raw with other salad and no different to other lettuces (just lasts longer which is a bonus!) , but it is really large and lasts for a while so every 3 weeks would be good.

  84. Loved it! Didn’t find it at all bitter, used as a salad leaf in a variety of dishes. Yet to cook it, but as a lettuce substitute it’s an absolute winner in our house!

  85. My nutritionist told me to have a bitter salad starter before every main meal, to stimulate digestive juices, so I was pleased when these started appearing.
    I used to hate bitter flavours but managed to acquire the taste in the pursuit of reclaiming my health.
    Needs a strong dressing of course, and I love how big they are and that they keep for ages if you peel off layers rather than cutting.

  86. I really like the paindesucre, great for winter salads. Happy to have more in my veg box!

  87. I loved it, I ate it in green smoothies as well as plain raw, it was lovely.

  88. I enjoyed it and ordered it especially, intrigued by the exotic-sounding name. I cooked it using the gratin recipe and would definitely make it again. I’m pleased to add it to the list of bitter-and-tasty treats and would be happy to see it every year, alongside chicory, radicchio, and other similar vegetables.

  89. I very much like pain de sucre. It makes an interesting and long lasting salad, the bitterness is just a bit stronger than a bitter lettuce and I like that.
    I also cook it similar to chicory. Cut into coarse shreds (it is a bit chewy if you leave it too large). Pressure cooker for 10 mins. Make cheesy roux and pour over clumps of pds. Finish under grill for 5 mins or until just browning.

  90. We love it. It is a bit bitter but we eat it with a honey dressing – delicious.

  91. In the north of France (Dep 59), I used to eat a lot of “chicon” salad (= Belgian endives) between end Oct till March. During the winter, I also ate a lot of “barbe de capucin” (another type of chicory leaves), but I never ate “pain de sucre”. I can’t tell you how curious I was when I saw Riverford offered their “new” winter salad. OK, nothing to do with “sugar” but with chicory. I HAD to order a “pain de sucre”!
    I decided to prepare it raw, finely shredded, using either sunflower oil or rape oil, and either wine/cider/balsamic vinegar + salt & pepper (cider vinegar is our favourite). What a bonus to find your “pain de sucre”. THANK YOU RIVERFORD! IT IS SUCH A PERFECT WAY TO EAT SALAD IN THE WINTER! What a shame the production and delivery stop at the end of January!…

    I like the idea the prepartion is easy and there is hardly any waste. I remove the hard centre of each leaf with a sharp knife and I do a fine shredding. I fill up a large salad bowl and I mix the shredded leaves with the dressing mentioned above. No mustard in the dressing… and never ever any salad cream!. Although less crunchy, we find the salad tastes even better on the following day! Worth trying! Also nice to eat the salad are some finely shredded carrots, prepared with same type of dressing -> eating the two together gives a nice and less bitter alternative. Gorgeous on the second day too!
    We all love a simple and well balanced “oil-vinegar-salt&pepper” dressing. Sprinkling parsley is lovely & delicious! Eating with cheddar cheese/goat cheese and walnut pieces is great. Some members of the family like to eat the pain de sucre salad with steamed potatoes, knoe of butter and sprinkle of parsley.

    I tried to cook some “pain de sucre” leaves cut in large pieces but flavour & texture of my first dish were a failure! The second time, I chopped the leaves and steamed them for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker. Some of the cooking juice was used in a bechamel sauce. The cooked shredded leaves were quickly mixed with some oil or butter + one finely chopped clove of garlic, some salt and pepper, and then put in a buttered oven dish, covered with a bechamel sauce with a sprinkle of grated nutmeg … all being topped with grated gruyère/parmesan/emmental (grated cheddar is fine) and a few knobs of butter.
    Ten minutes later, the pain de sucre ‘au gratin’ is out of the oven, ready to be eaten and enjoyed. Non vegetarian people might like ading some chopped ham in the bechamel sauce (?)
    We would be happy to eat the salad version every day of the week, with little additions and variations – and to make a gratin dish once a week would be fine.
    We would love to think the “pain de sucre” will be on offer again at the end of the year.

  92. PS
    I happily added two “pain de sucre” in my FREE fruit & Veg box for next week as soon as I realized it was already the end of their production. Although we’ll be away for a few days during the week, we know they will keep in the fridge!
    I have also started to read all the previous comments… and I completely agree with the idea that, FIRST OF ALL, “pain de sucre”, specially when served as a salad, must be finely shredded to be appreciated. Then, I think it is mainly the well balanced salad dressing that makes the bitter taste so interesting and enjoyable to eat.
    Next step is to experiment and to see what you may find nice to add to a “pain de sucre” salad (or what should be avoided). For ex, the sweetness of finely grated carrots mixed in similar type of dressing is a brilliant addition. We once had thick round radishes and we sliced them very finely in our food processor. They blended very well. I like to add a sprinkle of sultanas and walnut pieces on my salad plate… You might prefer eating your pain de sucre salad with bread and cheese, or with a potato salad, sprinkled with parsley, or with some mashed potatoes. Worth experimenting!

  93. Love it. We use it in this recipe: Baked Raddicchio and Mozzarella Pasta as it works just as well as radicchio itself.
    Much more welcome than endless cabbage!

  94. Its not for us, this one! Not fans at all.

    We like to try unusual new things, but cant make this work raw. Not experimented much with cooking it, but I suspect I’d have to be “hiding” it in something.

  95. I tried copying a salad I’d eaten in Haute Savoie: make a vinaigrette in the bottom of salad dish of: tsp mustard, dash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt, mixed up together then add chopped up bacon pieces, walnuts, pain de sucre and celery. The French one had goat’s cheese in it but we didn’t have any so ate without. Still delicious.
    Haven’t tried pain de sucre cooked yet.

  96. I am with the haters on this. I will eat pretty much any vegetable and never change my box choice based on the contents, but make an exception for pain de sucre. I made a fennel gratin (lovely Riverford recipe) and added some pain de sucre – the result was basically inedible. It is so bitter! I have been desperately hunting amongst the different boxes the last couple of weeks to find one without it. I would say – leave it on the extras list only!

  97. Hi Karen,
    I understand why fennel and chicory didn’t go together… and I wouldn’t try adding any pain de sucre to a dish with fennel. I feel sorry for your bad experience.
    On the other hand, looking at the recipe given by Jon, (Baked Raddicchio and Mozzarella Pasta) I can guess why replacing raddicchio by pain de sucre worked well. Thanks Jon. I took note of your link and must try the recipe.
    I will also make again our lovely (and simple) pain de sucre with bechamel sauce as explained in post above.

  98. The best lettuce I’ve ever had.
    Cos now comes second, but is also excellent.

  99. I’m afraid I really didn’t like it. Foudn it incredibly bitter and I normally like things like ‘normal’ chicory.

  100. Dave and Valerie Kent

    Valerie loved it, but she was expecting the bitterness. She also loves radiccio lettuce and black unsugared tea.
    I enjoy bitterness in food, though not as much as Valerie. Remembering my school days I translated the name as ‘sugar bread’ and assumed (wrongly) that it would be a sweetish lettuce shaped like a loaf! I tried it before I read the leaflet! My mistake. As a result my first experience was an unexpected (unpleasant ) surprise. Rather than a tentative test nibble I cut a chunk and chewed. I normally ensure that bitter food is balanced by other flavours, which I now do with p-d-s.
    That first negative experience could have been avoided if you’d simply put (salad chicory) under the name on the bag. Though it has to be said we both laughed.
    So overall result: we both like p-d-s and would be very happy to see it again in our box. I would be grateful if, in future, tricksily named veg came with a warning/alert on that name label giving a clue as to their actual nature.


  101. It’s a “no” from our family. Even my husband who only dislikes two other vegetables wouldn’t touch the stuff, and there was no way my young children would eat it either. It went straight to the compost heap – I know, a terrible waste.

  102. We like most vegetables and tried our best, but really didn’t like pain de sucre. My attempts at dressing it up resulted in something that was at best edible, but in no way appetising. Would rather put it straight in the compost …

  103. Thankfully I read the leaflet first so knew what to expect and I like it. My favourite: shredded on a plate to provide contrast in colour, taste and texture for my Fennel and beetroot salad:
    Cut cooked and peeled beetroot into cubes. Add finely chopped fennel bulb. Peel, quarter, core and chop a few apples and add. And/or oranges, or both (lovely with the blood oranges currently in the boxes). Dress with plain vinaigrette (lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, wholegrain mustard, black pepper and honey – I tend to make a bottle full and keep it in the fridge). Ideally allow to stand for a few hours at room temperature mixing occasionally. This allows the dramatic pink colour to develop and the flavours to mingle and come out.
    Then shred some pain de sucre and arrange on side plates and put some of the salad in the middle. The bitterness complements the sweetness of the beetroot and the sweet and sour flavours of vinaigrette and fruit.
    Bon appetit!

  104. Charlesetta Bardoner

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for supplying these details.

  105. ABSOLUTELY ADORE the pain de sucre, which we add to other salad leaves (mache, sucrine etc). Whole family addicted to it!

  106. I love it and dont find it much more bitter than cos lettuce. I think modern fruits and veggies are so sweet that many people have lost their taste for slightly bitter foods.

  107. do you have some recipies for this veg, we tried it in salads bit it was a bit too bitter, maybe i put too much in. it ended up going to waste. i love veg that isnt a norm on the supermarket shelve, so i was disapointed with my self when it went to waste. but i have no idea how to use it. soups? id love to use it raw though. with out it over powering things with the bitternes…

  108. I have horrible memories of gratin d’endives from my school days back in france, never liked them in salads either, until my aunt made canapes one day, including radicchio leaf “boats” with chunks of roquefort inside, That was the only time I could face eating a bitter leaf and it was actually really nice! I will try my pain de sucre as a salad this week, and I plan to shred it very thinly as suggested above, and will probably have it with bacon, blue cheese, walnut pieces, celery, apple and avocado… For the dressing, probably balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard. It sounds so nice, let’s hope it WILL be nice 🙂

  109. So we did have it with all the ingredients I mentioned above, but with pear as well as apple, and with oakleaves too. For the dressing we used walnut oil, rapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard, and it was beautiful. We all loved it, even the kids! We are definitely converted. We had it quite late, I think it was in the fridge for over a week before we even touched it, I don’t know if that lessened the bitterness but it was definitely not as bitter as we expected. We’ll have it again for sure.

  110. We found it far too bitter and it left a nasty after taste. My husband had to spit it out. Fortunately my rabbits do like it so it won’t be going to waste.

  111. I’m struggling to find recipes for Pain de Sucre so thank you for those people above who’ve added some ideas! I may pause my veg box for the weeks it is in 🙃

  112. No recipies work ! These evil things, like all bitter salads, go straight in compost.

  113. I have been trying to find a way to enjoy pain de Sucre. I don’t like it in a salad as it’s to bitter. I am still looking for different ways to cook it……I may have to add it to my swap list.

  114. Didn’t expect to like it but my son and I both enjoyed raw, my wife hated it!

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