Kale – a vegetable of crinkly green or purple leaves – was favored by the Greeks in 4th century bce. Kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe until the end of the Middle Ages, when it was eclipsed by its spherical cousin, cabbage. Kale was especially popular in Scotland. Kale is a Scottish name.
Kale is still prominent in numerous traditional recipes throughout Europe, and remains in favor in the southern United States, along with a kale cousin: collard greens. A kale variety – kai-lan – is commonly combined with beef dishes in China and Vietnam.
Kale does well in a cold climate. It is more flavorful and tastes sweeter after being exposed to a frost.
Kale is highly nutritious, bestowing ample vitamins A, C, and K, and is rich in calcium and antioxidants.