When I ask this question of folks, I'll sometimes gain a new appreciation of a familiar food, or learn about some food completely new to me. Am thinking that answers from The Pack may prove particularly enlightening.
So Woof Out Loud, hounds. What is the most under-rated ingredient or dish? Of if you like, the most under-appreciated or under-utilized.
My short list:
Fresh mussels. And may they remain so, lest they become over-priced as lobster has.
Parsnips. Parsnips harvested before frost don't count, just like non-vine-ripe tomatoes don't count. Those harvested in the winter thru early spring are exceptional (these undergo a chemical change.) I suspect most commercially available parsnips ARE harvested too soon - its a question of economy - so the One True Parsnip may not be widely known. If you are not a gardener, bribe one.
Water. It's number one on the list, even just as a beverage. If you'd somehow invented it, you'd be the greatest chef of all time, immortal. To me it is exquisite, especially iced, provided I pay attention to it, which maybe I don't all the time. And it may be the only beverage that truly goes with everything.
Escarole. Especially when grown correctly, which again may not be widely available.
Wilted just right in the pan with garlic and oil, a little salt, and its all over for you. But top it with great Italian sausages, a little crusty bread alongside, and you'll be groveling on the floor. Well, at least I will be.
So? Fill us in.