How well do you know your kale?
Kale has been perhaps the most popular superfood for the past few years. From detox and weight loss to its use as a disease-fighting immune system booster, Kale is featured in almost all types of food and drinks. You have certainly heard of kale soup, kale salads, kale chips and even kale smoothies.
Don’t expect to find kale in your typical Turkish restaurant’s menu but rest assured kale has been a staple ingredient of regional Turkish cuisine.
According to Wikipedia, kale originated in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor (Turkey), where it was cultivated for food beginning by 2000 B.C. at the latest.
Known as “kivircik lahana” and “kara lahana” in Turkey, kale is grown almost all over Turkey however particularly in the northern Black Sea region, it is an indispensable part of the cuisine. In fact, the regional Black Sea cuisine owes its diversity to the versatility of kale.
Some of the most known Black Sea regional dishes we can list are; kale dolma, kale soup, kale kavurma, gulya, dible, istif and vurma.
Kara lahana kavurma: Kale is boiled, then mixed with kidney beans that have been boiled separately. In a separate pot, chopped onions and garlic are sautéed in butter, and the bean/kale mixture is added and fried further. Once it is cooked, you can serve it with garlic yoghurt and top it up with melted butter.
So before you hit the healthy-juice store for a filling kale smoothie or buy kale bunches from your local grocery store thinking how exceptionally healthy you will be compared to your parents, stop for a second and think about your grand parents from the Black Sea (and their great-great parents) who has lived on kale for centuries.