Kale vs. Grüne Kohl

Kale vs grune kohl differences between the US and Germany

Turns out Kale in the US is NOT the same as Grüne Kohl here in Germany.  I was pretty disappointed to discover this fact.  We went to the farmer’s market here in Germany and bought some kale plants.  We went to OBI and bought some pots and soil to plant them in.  We spent time picking bugs off the plants.  We waited until they looked nice and ready to eat.  Then we tasted them and threw the whole thing away (we kept the pots of course) :). 

Growing Kale Brassica Oleracea Acephala germany grune kohl sabellica












Now I can understand why Germans eat Grüne Kohl chopped into small pieces with potatoes and LOTS of butter.  Grüne Kohl is bitter and chewy.  They say that after the first frost it can develop a more sweet taste, but in my opinion nothing can help it taste like the Kale we were eating back in the US.

In the US we enjoyed raw organic Kale in salads, smoothies, and even made Kale chips (yummy).  But here you probably wouldn’t come out with the same results if you made these things with Grüne Kohl.  You would think I would have learned my lesson with the red onions

According to Wikipedia:

Kale (US)= Brassica Oleracea ACEPHALA

Grüne Kohl (Germany) = Brassica Oleracea SABELLICA

They are not the EXACT same plant. 

Some suggestions people gave me were to eat spinach (which is a great alternative although it is not always available in our local Edeka or farmer’s market) or Mangold.   One more suggestion was to soak Grüne Kohl in water for a while and that should help with the bitterness.  But I haven’t tried it yet.

(PS – I love the group Henhaus on Facebook because I can put a question out there and other mom’s living in Germany answer / help me figure things out!  I don’t live in this part of Germany, but I have found this to be a really helpful group.  I have asked questions about taxes, food, and fire detectors.  Here is the link to that facebook group or click on the picture below.)

henhaus germany website blog banner header

Here are some more articles that I found about Grüne Kohl in Germany and the health benefits of eating kale (just click on the pictures).  Hopefully this summer we can grow the US Kale variety and enjoy our green smoothies and salads again. :)  Lots of Love – Judi

A vegetarian in germay all kinds of kale not

mind body green top 10 benefits of eating kale

german food guide kale



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