Kale is the Jeff Bridges of vegetables -- been around forever, utility player, not the flashy type. Until lately.
Since being crowned prom king of locavore fads, kale has been putting on airs. All of a sudden, it's cozying up to caramelized onions and being photographed slathered in chanterelles.
Easy to grow and touted as the ne plus ultra of vitamin- and antioxidant-packed superfoods, kale is being used by chefs in just about everything.
"People really are crazy for kale," said Susan Berkson, a spokeswoman for the Minneapolis Farmers Market. "They're asking for it more, so our growers are growing more, and more variety, too -- we're seeing the curly kale, the purple, red, dinosaur, Russian."
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But kale has been around the Western world since some roving Celts brought it back to Europe from Asia Minor in about 600 B.C. Why all the interest now?
"It's loaded with things that are good for you, and if people are going to eat their greens, they want them to pack a punch," Berkson said.