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European kale has arrived in the USA

Many trends come to Europe from the USA but occasionally it’s the other way round, like the case of traditional home cooking. Kale is the latest item to hit the menu of the health conscious American and comes in all varieties imaginable, as a salad, in smoothies or even as crisps.

An increase in nutritionally aware consumers

Eating habits among US citizens are becoming increasingly polarised. On the one hand, there are the infamous fast food lovers who tend to consume an extremely unbalanced diet very high in fat and sugar. On the other hand, there are the fitness fanatics who are very nutritionally aware. Since Michelle Obama has been involved in the campaign to promote “Healthy Food”, there are some foods now coming into prominence which the average American had never heard of up until two years ago.

Kale is one of these foods; its star is rising as an intrinsic part of this healthy food craze. It is grown locally and is sold on most large stands at food markets. Supermarketshave cleared shelf space for this voluminous leafy vegetable. Apart from the celebrity endorsements, its comparably high levels of calcium, vitamin C and iron explain kale’s sudden popularity.

Kale is the latest trend in the USA

Kale has always been eaten in Europe in some traditional regional dishes and as a “normal” steamed vegetable. But it’s now enjoying a renaissance because of the hype from across the Atlantic. People on internet forums, especially young women, are swapping smoothie recipes and there was a storm of tweets on Twitter when it was thought that McDonalds might start serving kale chips as a side order for burgers. The young generation in particular feel they are being addressed when kale is included in popular drink mixes – even when the light brown colour does not seem particularly appetising “don’t worry, it doesn’t taste of grass” explained a forum participant.

Although many trends like fast food, takeaway coffee, and convenience products have come to Europe from the US in past decades, we Europeans have now added kale to American households along with wholegrain bread and cheese. Maybe we should start looking out for kale on its way back to us labelled “new trend from the USA”.

Source: Friederike Heidenhof, www.aid.de