White Peacock Kale
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|Food Buzz: History of Kale|
White Peacock kale stands out from other kale varieties in its appearance and texture. It can easily be distinguished by its deeply serrated vibrant variegated green and ivory white leaves and thick, fleshy, milky white ribs. The leaves are crisp yet tender with a sweet, earthy flavor and mild cruciferous, subtle peppery undertones. Late winter and early spring provide the sweetest and most tender Peacock kale.
White Peacock kale is available in winter through spring.
White Peacock kale, botanical name Brassica oleracea, is a member of the Cruciferae family along with cabbages, broccoli, brussel sprouts and all other kale varieties. All kales are non-heading. Instead of forming low to the ground tight uniform heads like common cabbage, kale plants produce a singular upright thick stem which sprouts offset leafy branches. There are four types of kale varieties: Scotch, Russian, marrowstem and Japanese. Peacock kale is considered a Japanese type. Japanese kales are known for their showy ornamental foliage.
Kale is the single most nutrient dense plant food in the world. It provides high quantities of Vitamin K, C and A. It also contains cartenoids and over 45 different flavonoids, which provide beneficial antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer preventive compounds.
White Peacock kale can be used in any recipe calling for kale. It can be utilized both raw and cooked. It is often found in salad mixes and braising green mixes with other greens such as mustard, arugula, chicories, spinach, red and green lettuces. Salad mixes are the perfect opportunity to showcase Peacock kale's texture and flavor alongside other varying flavors and textures. White Peacock kale can be wilted, braised, roasted, fried, dehydrated, grilled and juiced. It pairs well with rich ingredients such as pork, cream, melting, aged and blue cheeses, butter, eggs, olive oil avocados and nuts. Other companion ingredients include citrus, mango, chiles, garlic, shelling beans, farro, sausages, mushrooms, ginger, fennel, shallots and light-bodied vinegars.
All kales are descendents of wild cabbage, which is native to Western Asia. White Peacock kale is a newer cultivar that was developed in the 19th century as an ornamental garden kale. 20th century agriculture expanded the planting of many previously neglected kale varieties into profitable commercial crops. White Peacock kale has a growing advantage over other kale varieties as it can tolerate heat and resist bolting, creating longer harvest seasons for the crop. It also tolerates poor soil quality and can be overwintered in temperate regions.