Kale is a leafy vegetable that can have green or purple leaves. Kale is an edible plant and it is commonly added to salad or baked to create kale “chips.” It also has many other uses and can be added to many savoury dishes. It is highly regarded for its nutritional properties and it is high in Vitamin A, K and C as well as calcium and other nutrients. Like broccoli, kale also contains a substance known for its anti-cancer properties along with a substance known to boost DNA repair. It has become very popular in healthy eating circles and is often referred to as a “superfood.” Let’s find out where kale comes from and where it can be grown today.
Where does kale originate from?
Kale is a close relative of the wild cabbage. It is part of the species Brassica olerace which includes vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. The exact origin of kale is unknown, but we do know that kale was a very common green vegetable in Europe until the end of the middle ages. The ancestors of modern kale were flat and curled leaf cabbages that were grown in Greece in the fourth century BC. These were commonly known as Sabellian kale.
Where is kale grown today?
Russian kale was spread by Russian traders into Canada, and then the US, in the 19th century. Today it is grown on every continent, apart from Antarctica.
Did you know?
The government of the UK encouraged people to grow kale during World War II so that they would have access to a nutrient rich food during food shortages and rationing.