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World War II veggie turns fashionable

Kale, which hugely supplemented Brit rations during the war, is now returning to menus as a fashionable super-food.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2007 18:36 IST

A green vegetable that helped Brits survive through the dark years of World War II, is making a comeback on menu cards, but this time, it has taken the form of a fashionable super food.

Kale, a relative of the cabbage, was included in the Dig for Victory campaign as a vegetable that could be easily grown and also provided important nutrients to supplement meagre diets during rationing.

With the end of the war, the green vegetable also faded away from the meal table and recipe books, not only because of its somewhat metallic taste, but also because it turned into an unappetizing green pulp when boiled.

However after sixty years kale is being re-launched following the development of a sweeter, more attractive variety.

It retains the rich mixture of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that made it a vital ingredient in keeping the nation healthy in the time of need.

Wiltshire farmer Rob Corlett, who has 12 years of experience growing baby leaf salads, hopes that his development would become a household and restaurant staple as a supermarket super food.

“Curly kale's baby leaves are sweet and tender and can be cooked in two minutes which makes it a very attractive vegetable. There is nothing like it on the market,” the Daily Mail quoted him, as saying.

“It is quite a difficult plant to grow as it is prone to disease and insect attack, particularly in its early stages. The key is daily care and attention from the moment the seeds are sown until harvest six weeks later,” he said.

Mr Corlett said that he was very proud to be able to bring back the baby leaf curly kale back to the dining table.