A wry view of life for the world-weary

Food Of The Week


Fed up with broccoli and cauliflower? Thinking about varying the source of your five a day? If you want to be on-trend, have you considered cavolo nero?

This vegetable has dark leaves with a distinctively rich and slightly sweet flavour and dates back to around 600 BCE when it was grown by farmers in Tuscany. Perhaps because of climate change – who knows – but it now grows successfully in Lincolnshire.

The trouble is hardly anyone – or rather just 20% of the British public surveyed – knows what it is or even that it is a vegetable. So the farmers, wanting to tap into the burgeoning demand for kale – Waitrose (natch) report a 53% increase in sales year-on-year and Marks and Sparks have a number of kale products on their shelves including two varieties of kale crisps – by rebranding it black kale.

We will see how they get on with that.

Talking about not knowing your vegetables, I learned this week that the august guardian of our well-being, Public Health England, has sent a warning to all supermarkets not to display daffodils near foodstuffs. Apparently they are concerned that the great unwashed will mistake them for onions or Chinese vegetables – after all, there were 27 cases last year of poisoning linked to daffodils and narcissi. Perhaps Tom Stoppard is right after all.


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