Kale Nation

Where in the world was kale when I was growing up? I don't think I even heard of it until a few years ago. Now one cannot escape it - in salads, of course, but in beverages, desserts, fried, baked. My daughter called me from one of New York City's best places to buy produce. She was confounded by the 34 different varieties of kale. I was clueless. She now makes something called rubbed kale. I have never rubbed my vegetables. Sounds way too sexual for something that is green and leafy.

The fact is kale is over 2,000 years old. It's great to know that there is a scientific battle over who first cultivated kale. The New York Times stated that the ancient Greeks boiled some leafy green stuff and ate it as a cure for drunkenness. The Europeans make claim that kale was consumed in volume until the Middle Ages when other vegetables became cultivated . . . and probably tasted better. But kale survived being taken over by its' cousin, the mighty cabbage, due to its' ability to withstand frost. For you botanically minded folks, kale in the wild is the Brassica oleracea variety acephala. According to my on-line source, (Vectis Road Allotments) that means, "cabbage without a head." Drop that one at the next dinner party - which is sure to have kale in it somewhere.

As of this writing, kale was proclaimed "Food of the Week" by Whole Foods markets. It provides the most nutritional value for the least number of calories. To be really healthy their "Veggie Advisor" recommends eating about 10 cups per week of kale or some similar cruciferous vegetable, whatever that is. 10 cups of Haagen Daz ice cream, maybe. But ten cups of kale - no way!

Kale is also a clothing item. T-shirt seller Bo Muller-Brown has been cashing in on kale for the past 12 years with his "Eat More Kale" T-shirts. So it is probably fair to say that 95% of us would have looked and that and said "huh?" I rather eat the T-shirt.

Clearly I am not a kale fan. I cannot sing its' praises and will go out of my way not to order a kale-infused item at a restaurant. No kale chips taking the place of the good old potato chip. No kale smoothies. No kale in my pasta sauce. No kale, period.

But in all my ranting I felt compelled to try a recipe from Scoop Adventures (only a true ice cream fan would indulge that kind of reading material) for Blueberry Kale Ice Cream. It took about a day to make and harden but WOW! Amazing! Kale Rocks!

OK, not really, but it was not bad at all and if I got some nutrient value out of the dish as well as a the workout from just making the stuff, I'll salute this version of kale and to my darling daughter, I didn't even have to rub it.