A year ago, I had never heard of the nasty, bitter tasting near weed known as Kale. I bet you hadn’t either. If you had asked me what It was, I would have said a new subcompact make by Kia, or possibly a small town in New Mexico. Before I could even look it up on my smart phone, it was everywhere. In my salads. Available in breakfast smoothies. In a bag pretending to taste as good as potato chips. In every meal that I get from Blue Apron. I was offended that no one had consulted me, or anyone I knew personally, before this insult to the gustatory and olfactory senses was suddenly forced upon us.
At first, having seen it presented on menus, I figured I could just avoid it as I do most green vegetables. You see, most vegetables make me gag. I read that to many people, vegetables actually taste similar to poison. I am one such person. However, being aware that not eating my veggies will take 10-20 years off my life, I do eat a few of less heinous ones. Plus lots of salads. I reason that hey, rabbits run pretty fast, salads must be healthy right? So when out at a restaurant, I would find a nice chopped salad, or a Caesar, and order it in the hopes of living to see Nancy Pelosi retire from the House of Representatives during my lifetime. (Current betting is the year 2037).
The next thing I know, EVERY DAMNED RESTAURANT SALAD IS MADE WITH KALE! They took the last green menu item I could eat, and turned it into an exercise in masochism to gag it down. I mean, do you even pretend to like the stuff? I believe that a pair of used Dr. Scholl’s odor eaters would taste better, (and smell better, too). I have been eating the Greek salad at Panera for years, and always enjoyed it. Now it is infested with Kale, and it makes me retch. EPIC FAIL PANERA.
Now, I could somehow reconcile myself to the fact that I can no longer get an edible salad at a restaurant any more, if in fact Kale was even half of what it is cracked up to be. But, like most faddish nutritional advice, the whole story is just so much tofu baloney. A study that actually measured its nutritional density relative to other foods found that Kale ranks a distant 15th among veggies!!! I have to ask, if it is not really all that great, WHY IS EVERY RESTAURANT POISONING THE SALAD BAR WITH IT? Spinach, Leaf lettuce, Chinese Cabbage, and Parsley among others ranked higher. They taste better and we have all been eating them for decades. Oh, and if you boil kale, all nutritional value is removed. A superfood my ass.
Well, we here at the Billy Bushwood Institute for Debunking Nutritional Bullshit (BBIDNB) had discovered the dastardly persons behind this culinary caper. Not surprisingly, it is those “jolie” pranksters, the French. They hate us Americans because we kick their ass in just about everything. Then a taste test showed that our wine was even better than theirs. This was the last straw for the Frogs, who have been plotting to get even ever since.
Some of their head foodie garcons (meaning “snots”) were sitting around, drinking French wine (which is inferior in all respects California wine.) Suddenly, of the more creative of them said, “Zoot Alors! We jahst pretahnd zat ze weeds we peeck out of ze vegetable gardeens ahr really ze haute cuisine! Zose Americahn Eediots, zey believe efferytheeng!” So they bribed a Nutritionist at the FDA, and got them to announce Kale as a Super Food.
And so what started out as a drunken prank has resulted in the foisting upon us of awful weeds such as Kale, Endive, and Arugula. From the target of intensive industrial weed-killers to healthy, gourmet table fare. The French are quietly sitting over there, laughing uproariously at us while they enjoy vegetables that actually taste good.
So I ask you to join me in a campaign to consign the despicable, not-all-that-nutritional Kale back to the hog troughs where it belongs. (Note: it is rumored that even pigs won’t eat it). Ask for a substitute anytime Kale comes in a dish on the menu at your local restaurant. Refuse to order anything with Kale in it. Write letters to your Congresspersons. Picket French’s mustard. Drink California, Washington State, or Arkansas wines instead of French ones.
With luck, Kale will disappear from our restaurant menus just like Endive and Arugula. Au Revoir, and bon chance.