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Kale, sometimes known as leaf cabbage, is a kind of cabbage (Brassica oleracea) cultivar produced for its edible leaves, however certain varieties are also used as ornamentals. The leaves of the kale plant are green or purple, and the core leaves do not form a head (as with headed cabbage). Kales are said to be closer to wild cabbage than most farmed Brassica oleracea varieties.
Kale is said to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, where it was first grown for sustenance around 2000 BCE. In the 4th century BC, curly-leaved cabbage cultivars coexisted alongside flat-leaved forms in Greece. The Romans called these types Sabellian kale, and they are thought to be the forefathers of contemporary kales.
Hard-heading cabbage is the first cabbage to be recorded in Western Europe, dating back to the 13th century. Hard-heading cabbage and loose-leaf kale are distinguished in records from 14th-century England.
Russian traders introduced Russian kale to Canada and eventually the United States in the 19th century. Despite his distaste of cabbages, including kale, USDA botanist David Fairchild is credited for introducing kale (and many other crops) to Americans, having brought it back from Croatia. Kale was commonly planted in Croatia at the time, owing to its ease of cultivation, low cost, and ability to desalinate soil. Kale was predominantly utilized as a decorative vegetable in the United States for most of the twentieth century; but, due to its nutritional content, it became increasingly popular as a culinary vegetable in the 1990s.
The Dig for Victory initiative supported the growing of kale (and other vegetables) in the United Kingdom during WWII. The vegetable was simple to cultivate and offered vital elements that were lacking in rationed diets.
Kale variants may be distinguished by the length of the stem, which can be short, medium, or long, as well as the distinct leaf kinds. The leaves range in color from light green to green, dark green, violet-green, and violet-brown.
Leaf type classification:
Curly-leaf is a kind of plant with a curly leaf (Scots kale, blue curled kale)
Bumpy-leaf (black cabbage, also known as Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale, lacinato, and dinosaur kale), also known as Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale, lacinato, and dinosaur kale.
a simple leaf (flat-leaf types like red Russian and white Russian kale)
Leaf and spear, or a leaf with a feathery appearance (a cross between curly- and plain-leaf)
Decorative (less palatable and tougher leaves)
White and lavender ornamental kale
Because kale can grow deep into the winter, one type of rape kale is known as “hungry gap,” after the period in ancient agriculture when nothing else could be collected during the winter. Jersey kale, sometimes known as cow cabbage, is a taller variant. Kai-lan, often known as Chinese kale, is a Chinese kale cultivar. The bumpy-leaved kale is often known in Portugal as “couve galega” (Galician kale or Portuguese Cabbage).