I don't think I've ever had kale before. I've heard of it before, but I never knew what it was until I was at the Clark Park Farmers' Market, and I decided to buy some kale from the high school kids garden...I'm not sure what the group is called, but it's basically high school kids growing vegetables. In short, I'd rather buy from them than buy from other vegetable vendors because I can relate more to high school kids. They sold chard, kale, spinach, and other vegetables, and I asked them which is kale, since I couldn't recognise it (embarrassing!). One of the high school kids let out a laugh and showed me what the kale was. I asked him how to cook it, and he said, "Oh you know, you can boil it, add some salt and pepper..."
Pretty nice; $2.50 for a fresh, leafy bunch.
I ended up checking whether I could eat kale raw, and it turns out that it tastes like broccoli. This is a good thing, because due to my single nucleotide polymorphisms on the TAS2R38 gene, I'm either a heterozygote, or homozygote for the haplotype that doesn't detect bitterness. I don't think that raw broccoli is bitter, although people homozygous for the other haplotype think that raw broccoli is extremely bitter. I'd say that raw kale is more bitter than raw broccoli, so those with the other SNP can probably only stomach cooked kale...
Anyway, raw kale is simply beautiful and delicious (even the stems are okay, although I'd prefer them cooked. Chard stems and leaves, on the other hand, MUST be cooked, in my opinion), and I think it's my new favourite raw leafy vegetable (because spinach, although delicious, has some sort of astringency after a while).
I ate four kale/roasted eggplant sandwiches today, with organic baguette-style-sliced bread from Slow Rise Bakery. My mum told me that she roasted eggplant using my method, and that "it was delicious, even when cold"!
The kale on the left is raw kale, whereas the one on the right is kale that went through some heat processing (in a sandwich press). I had to use a sandwich press to make my toast because the toaster was broken... :(