Kale has now been annointed as veggie-chic

Kale slaw

Since we doubt that anyone is unaware that kale has been soaring in popularity (stand aside, tomatoes) we haven’t tackled it as a blog item –  it seems to be almost passé. But sometimes events overtake the best of intentions, and the event that overtook us was the final, canonical blessing on kale by the New York Times who just announced that kale has been accepted in “Manhattan social circles.”

In their article, Oh, How the Humble Has Risen, they note that “Along with midriff-baring tops and all things Gatsby, another trend has swept the spring social circuit: kale salads.” Apparently, we can “Forget about filet mignon or caviar. The fashionable plat du jour these days is the humble kale salad, which seems to telegraph a certain veggie-chic for the juice-cleanse set.”

Don’t get us wrong – we love kale. But the premise that a Manhattan social set acceptance should turn us on to kale does befuddle us – it’s not a group that we turn to for vegetable blessings

And the group is even late to the party. As The Guardian wrote last March, in Kale: the hottest vegetable this season, the British have been tuned onto kale for quite awhile, “According to trade magazine  the Grocer, kale is the “new star” of the brassica family. Sales were up by 40% in the past year, with 3,048 tonnes shifted in the 12 months to February, when its core season ends.  Data analysts Kantor Worldpanel, who conducted the study, don’t make the link between celebrities and our new-found fondness for this powerful leaf. But thanks to its high-profile supporters – including Gwyneth Paltrow (whose website  Goop  features recipes for kale juice and kale chips),  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall  and  Jamie Oliver– some of it may even have been eaten, rather than left at the back of the veg drawer.”

Or what about this article in Epicurious, The Next Big Thing: Baby Kale Salad Mix? They note that “Americans are crazy for kale. So crazy, in fact, that we might as well be singing “Kale to The Chief!” All kidding aside, it’s taken a while, but kale is now solidly entrenched in our vegetable lexicon. Whether raw or cooked, it has firmly planted itself on restaurant menus. Bushy bunches of it crowd the produce aisles of supermarkets. And the farmers’ market? Forgettaboutit. When kale’s in season, there are so many different varieties piled high on tables, it’s hard to choose.”

We’re not sure who started the kale craze, but we’re glad they did and we’d like to give them credit if we could. However, the least we can do is to note that our EYB members are much savvier than the Manhattan social set when it comes to food (we doubt if many could use the expression “veggie-chic” with a straight face), so here are those online recipes at EYB for kale that have created the most buzz. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of shutterbean on Flickr


Post a comment


  • sgump  on  May 16, 2013

    Fabulous! There's a newish, quasi-urban chic restaurant in the tiny Middle-of-Nowhere, Iowa, town where I live where kale seems to have insinuated itself into every course. I love kale (so I don't mind); but the evolving menu at times seems to be a game of something akin to "25 Unexpected Ways to Sneak More Kale into Your Diet"

  • sir_ken_g  on  May 17, 2013

    Our kid's "Kale to the Victors" T-shirt is cool – but other than that – pass.

  • bookpoet  on  May 18, 2013

    I saw shredded kale in a bagged salad mix for the first time just the other day.

  • sgump  on  May 19, 2013

    Too funny! I just came across this line in Deb Perelman's *Smitten Kitchen*: "Every barn-tabled, locavore-bent, small scrappy restaurant . . . seems determined to convince diners that kale is (a) delicious and (b) worth adding to everything" (p. 67). I'm happy, then, that Middle-of-Nowhere, Iowa, is on the bandwagon!

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!