Kalettes ~ the New Kid on the Food Block

Kalette picThe other day, I learned that Americans will soon have the honor of being introduced to a new vegetable – something we haven’t experienced since broccolini was introduced sixteen years ago. (Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese chard.) 

We are used to seeing new varieties of old vegetables, such as yellow beets or purple carrots, but this new kid on the food block is a brand new hybrid vegetable. Introducing…..Kalettes, a cross between kale and brussel sprouts. Yes, just when you thought that being an adult allowed you to quit being cajoled into eating your brussel sprouts, British vegetable seed breeder Tozer Seeds created a way to make brussel sprouts more palatable by crossing them with kale.

Please note that this new vegetable is NOT genetically modified (GMO). No DNA from other species has been injected into the plant, nor have genes been taken out. This is a man-assisted cross-pollination (hybrid), so it is totally safe to eat. (For more information on the difference between hybrids and GMOs, see my article, “Heirlooms, Hybrids, & GMOs.”) And according to the company’s official statements, Kalettes are “the fusion of sweet and nutty.” I love kale, and I will eat brussel sprouts if my Garden Wilson cooks them. (I LOVE the way he cooks them; otherwise, I won’t touch them.) So, I’m looking forward to trying out these little Kalettes.

Unfortunately, the only place you can get them is to buy them at the store (or farmers’ markets?). Kalette seeds are not available to the common gardener. Tozer Seeds has granted growing rights to only about a half dozen farmers in the U.S., one of whom is in South Carolina (WP Rawl). So, for now, we’ll have to be satisfied with growing kale and/or brussel sprouts. The offspring of that union isn’t allowed visitation rights in our gardens yet.

Take my poll.


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