Webster's calls it "a tall annual widely cultivated in the southern U.S. and the West Indies for its mucilaginous seed pods that are pickled or used as the basis of soups and stews." It's related to the hollyhock and bears a hibiscuslike blossom. Uncooked, it's like a green and crunchy skinless pepper, but when pickled or boiled in a gumbo it makes certain people gag on its mucilaginity and declare that they can't stand the stuff. Others see it as a metaphor and use it to... More >>>