Kale is green edible type of cabbage from the mustard family. Actually, the wild cabbage family and thought to have originally come from Asia, then later brought to Europe.It is usually sold in bunches and has dark green or purple leaves. Unlike cabbage though, it won't grow into a "head" but rather spikes of leaves.

Because of it's high nutritional value and extremely low fat content, it will usually find it's way onto most diet plans. It is also believed to have cancer prevention qualities and can help to detoxify your system. It is high in Vitamins A, E, C and Calcium and a good source of fiber. Kale does contain Oxalates, which in some rare cases, can interfere with the absorption of calcium. Kale is one of the best foods you can eat.

There are several varieties, some of which are available almost year round. It is a hardy plant in the garden and is virtually disease free and pest resistant.

Braised, sauteed or added to soups, it's a tasty and nutritional vegetable.


Other names: lacinato kale, dinosaur kale
Translations: Lapu kāposti, Lapiniai kopūstai, Varză furajeră, Kelj, Cải xoăn, Kapusta włoska, Boerenkool, गोभी, Couve, Листовая капуста, Λάχανο, كرنب, 양배추의 일종, Kubis, Sabaw ng gulay, 羽衣甘蓝, Col arrissada, Kel, Cavolo, קייל, Grönkål, Кељ, ケール, Chou frisé, Grünkohl, Grønkål, Bladkål, Col rizada, Листова капуста, Lehtikaali, Зеле

Physical Description

Kale or borecole is a form of cabbage (Brassica oleracea Acephala Group), green or purple, in which the central leaves do not form a head.Curly leaved (Scots Kale Lutes)
Plain leaved
Rape Kale Lutes
Leaf and spear (a cross between curly leaved and plain leaved Kale Lutes)
Cavolo nero (also known as black cabbage, Tuscan Kale Lutes, Lacinato and dinosaur Kale Lutes)

Colors: green, purple

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet, peppery, bitter
Mouthfeel: Crisp, Earthy, Firm
Food complements: Cream, Poultry, Seafood, White beans
Wine complements: White wine, Red wine
Beverage complements: Tea, Beer, Hard cider
Substitutes: Collard greens, Callaloo, Chinese kale, Turnip greens, Mustard greens, Spinach greens, Spinach, Green chard

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: january, february, march, december
Choosing: Look for firm and perky stems, free of blemishes and insects.
Buying: Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available. Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems.
Procuring: It is grown in areas in central and northern Europe and North America. It grows rarely in tropical areas as it prefers cooler climates.

Kale can tolerate nearly all soils provided that drainage is satisfactory. It rarely suffers from pests and diseases, which is a great advantage.

Preparation and Use

Before eating or cooking, wash the kale leaves thoroughly under cool running water to remove any sand or dirt that may remain in the leaves. Both the leaves and the stem of kale can be eaten. After removing any roots that remain, you can just cut it into the desired shape and size.

If your recipe calls for the leaves only, they can be easily removed. Just take each leaf in hand, fold it in half lengthwise, hold the folded leaves near the base where they meet the stalk, and with the other hand, gently pull on the stem. You can also use a knife to separate the leaves from the stems.

Cleaning: When cleaning kale, wash it very well from grit and bugs that could be hiding in its curly leaves. Remove the tough core then chop it into bite size pieces.

The easiest way of removing the core is to hold the end of the stem with your left hand (if you're right handed), with the ruffles of the leaves facing up. And with your other hand, hold the knife and slide the blade away from you along the stem at a 45 degree angle to the stem.

Conserving and Storing

Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will negatively affect its flavor.


Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. Curly leafed varieties of cabbage already existed along with flat leafed varieties in Greece in the fourth century BC. These forms, which were referred to by the Romans as Sabellian kale, are considered to be the ancestors of modern kales. Today one may differentiate between varieties according to the low, intermediate, or high length of the stem, with varying leaf types. The leaf colours range from light green through green, dark green and violet-green to violet-brown. Russian kale was introduced into Canada (and then into the U.S.) by Russian traders in the 19th century.

During World War II, the cultivation of kale in the U.K. was encouraged by the Dig for Victory campaign. The vegetable was easy to grow and provided important nutrients to supplement those missing from a normal diet because of rationing.[3]

Kai-lan, a separate cultivar of Brassica oleracea much used in Chinese cuisine, is somewhat similar to kale in appearance and is occasionally called "kale" in English

History: Like broccoli, cauliflower and collards, kale is a descendent of the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in Asia Minor and to have been brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. Curly kale played an important role in early European foodways, having been a significant crop during ancient Roman times and a popular vegetable eaten by peasants in the Middle Ages. English settlers brought kale to the United States in the 17th century.

Both ornamental and dinosaur kale are much more recent varieties. Dinosaur kale was discovered in Italy in the late 19th century. Ornamental kale, originally a decorative garden plant, was first cultivated commercially as in the 1980s in California. Ornamental kale is now better known by the name salad savoy.



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