Not so very long ago Kale was an inedible frilly border at salad bars, indestructible platforms for plastic bowls of bean salad or canned baby corn. A mainstay of supermarket deli platters, predictably hiding aluminum trays while cleverly taking up space. Not for human consumption, questionably decorative but for a stoic refusal to wilt.
Enter “eating healthier”, the dawn of all natural, organic, antibiotic and pesticide free, Earnest organic farmers sustained farmers markets and upscale restaurants, social media took care of the rest. Forget spinach, new age consumers demanded kale, the tough, slightly bitter, hard to digest acquired taste became an overnight sensation.
Kale chips, caesar salads, smoothies. We couldn’t just eat healthier, we had to eat kale. Whole Foods sells more kale than all other leafy greens combined, who cares that it doesn’t have more nutrition than spinach. According to Whole Foods that equals 22,000 fresh bunches a day, and they stock 250 items containing kale.
I don’t mind a little kale here and there, but stop short of paying ridiculous prices for meager bunches, half of which are fibrous throw-aways. Today we went to Whole Foods for sausages to BBQ, they have a great selection of unique flavor combinations. Normally I’d settle on the lamb or andouille. Overtaken by a fit of madness, I took home the lemon kale pork. I can’t describe that first bite, it was like eating the bottom of a peat bog. Dry, spongy, expanding before my eyes the moment its’ casing was breached. Enough with the kale, time for a new vegetable.