Kale is a member of the Brassicaceae family, also known as the cabbage family, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi. It originated in the Mediterranean region and was brought to the United States from England in the 17th century. Kale is a very hardy plant; it can withstand frosts and snowfall, making it an excellent staple food in the winter months. Kale plants range in color from white-green and yellow-green to blue-green and violet. Some varieties have been developed specifically for ornamental purposes.
- Out of the quite large cabbage family, kale is the closest relative to wild cabbage.
- Kale and collards are very similar; the difference is that kale has uneven leaf edges (serrated, lobed) and is less heat-tolerant.
- Kale is an excellent source of vitamin A and C and the mineral potassium. It is a good source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate) and the mineral copper.