It’s hard to believe these days, but it’s true, that I was brought up on a farm way out in the English countryside. All cows, fields and pretty much nothing to do. The farmer grew kale for the cows and they munched it. We grew our own vegetables, well my mum and dad did, and I don’t think I ever ate kale. Not knowingly.
When I rebelled age 14 and turned vegetarian, much to my dad’s disappointment, I subsisted on a fairly meagre diet until post University when I got all poncy and started buying kale in bags from Sainsbury’s and steamed it. It tasted OK, I felt worthy and the world kept spinning. I never persuaded R of its virtues and since he was the main reason I turned against my vegetarian ways around the age of 30, it was unlikely I’d ever get any vegetarian food down him, however hard I tried.
So why this little visit down kale memory lane? Because in New York KALE IS EVERYWHERE! Yes, it deserves those capital letters, because it’s bonkers. Kale in plastic boxes smeared in cheese, to make it taste better but ruin any health value it may have once held. It’s in the juice bar, as an option to go in your drink. You see women in those ubiquitous Soul Cycle outfits sipping green juice, and you know it’s mostly kale. Yuck. It’s sold in huge bunches in the vegetable section. Surely no one could eat that much of the stuff before it goes all swampy in the fridge?
According to the New York Times “there was a lot of buzz in early to mid-August about looming shortages in the tough, seemingly ubiquitous leafy green (kale) that has reigned as a darling of foodies for the last couple of years.” Apparently it’s OK now, they found a few fields that farmers forgot about and those poor cows lost their tasty afternoon snack to give those New Yorkers their daily dose of green. I had a quinoa drink the other day, that was gross too, but that’s another story…