N-dive or On-deev?

You say N-dive, I say On-deev. Is there a difference? Actually, there is. Although they are both members of the chicory family, they are quite different.

belgian endive and curly endive 


Grown outdoors in about 2 months, endive (pronounced n-dive) shown here on the right, is the more wild member of the family, with deeply-indented disheveled leaves. It is often called curly endive. A tamer looking version is called escarole.  Frisee is a smaller variety with fine leaves and a semi-blanched center.


So what is endive (on-deev)? Most often referred to as Belgian endive, it could be called the elegant member of the chicory family, with its tightly packed leaves and smooth, elongated shape. Unlike the more simple, field-only production of curly endive or other chicories, its final growth takes place in the dark, contributing to its blanched color. Even the red is grown in the dark, it's beautiful color coming from a cross with Treviso style chicories. But, let’s not quibble, no matter how you pronounce it, endives are one of the most versatile, delicious and healthy vegetables in the world.