Reading this headline, it’s hard to imagine kale (a superfood) having anything to do with bacon (a heavy meat product), let alone being the new bacon. But think back several years to the bacon infestation that infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives. From bacon and chocolate candies to bacon cologne, there was no escaping it. In fact, it still lingers on today…
However, society is trying to turn over a new, healthy leaf, and what better to do that with than kale? (Pun intended.) Full of vitamins A, C, and K and a long list of other health perks, it has long been touted as a superfood. To top that off, kale grows fantastically in the winter and is one of the heartier plants out there, usually causing it to overflow CSA boxes.
But it’s more than just its durability in cold climates that has made kale the celebrity that it is today. As discussed during social media week in New York City recently, kale has a powerful team of people behind it, from PR companies to chefs, that have led to the state of kale as we know it today.
Kale chips seem to be the new edamame (in terms of a healthy snack to munch on) and kale appears to be replacing spinach and chard as the swirl-in green for stews and soups (though, admittedly, the Tuscans have been doing that for a long time). Looking for a new salad green? Simply slice raw kale and toss it with an acidic or creamy dressing — the remaining ingredients are nearly limitless.
To really earn the title of the "new bacon," kale has to go beyond recipes. While it’s clever to use it in pesto in place of basil, or add it to smoothies, it needs to enter into the mass market realm to really make a statement. And it has.
Here, a collection of some of the better kale products out there. Kale soap or hand cream, anyone?