After many years of hearing my american close or famous “friends” telling me again and again about the magical kale and its marvelous benefits, the way they “green juiced” it, make soup out of it, steam it, grill it or whatever, I had decided that, although I had no a clue what they were talking about, I too, deserved to be happy.

img_0629For starters, the word “kale” doesn’t ring a bell with anyone at a french market, so I had to research to find out what it looks like.

Well, let’s say that depending on which American friend I talked to, it can range from “dark green” to “green and white”, from “straight” to “very curly”, sometimes “chinese”, with “very big” or not “so big” leaves… Not exactly precise indications, are they?

So thanks to Google images…At least 600 different results came up, from purple to pistachio and the all rainbow range in between. Not to mention the variety of shapes, from a banana tree leaf to an old lady’s wig.  And the only ugly name for all of that I could find translated into french was the terrible “chou frisé”, which means curly cabbage, even though the kale doesn’t have to be curly to be kale, so…img_1022

Let’s face it, kale will always keep a part of its mystery for us French, probably because we don’t grow as many types as you do in America. But facts are facts on both sides of the Atlantic: it is full of almost magical health properties.

Beta carotene, vitamins A,K, C, luteine, calcium, plus like broccoli it contains sulforaphrane with potent anti-cancer properties. To keep all that, it is better to steam or stir fry kale instead of boiling it. Actually, it provides so much important nutrients that during WW II the farmers of Great Brittain where encouraged by the government to grow plenty of it to supplement the deficiency in people’s diet.

And what about the taste? It is good! Actually we found some variety in the little producers market in Valbonne. You can accommodate kale in many ways, and we will give you soon some delicious and original RK receipes. Meanwhile you can have a look at this recent Martha Rose Schulman article in The New York times Fitness and Nutrition supplement , for delicious pastas, risotto or fish soup, all with kale.