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Hybrid happy

January 20, 2015
Kalettes makes for a great boost of color and nutrition.

Dearly beloved readers, we are gathered here today to witness the union of kale and Brussels sprouts in holy matrimony. Into the cruciferous kingdom these two wonderful vegetables come now to be joined in hybridization, to be henceforth known as “kalettes” and we will all get to eat happily ever after.

The rumors are true: Brussels sprouts and kale have joined their sweet forces into a new hybrid called the “kalettes” which combines the best flavors of each vegetable and offers a sweet and nutty result. The taste is milder than Brussels sprouts and the texture is more tender than kale, but this vegetable mash-up is still rich in vitamins C and K and contains double the amount of vitamin B6 than traditional sprouts.

Frilly-leaved kalettes are quickly making their presence known nationwide: Keep your eyes peeled for this purple and green wonder vegetable at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Kroger, Costco and other retailers around the country. You can also look for kalettes marketed under the names “BrusselKale” and “Lollipops Kale Sprouts”. You can even get your hands on kalette seeds for your garden here.

Whatever you call them, we like them roasted in the oven at 475° for 10 minutes, simply sautéed in a skillet with some olive oil or chopped finely and mixed with apple cider vinegar into a raw kalette salad.

This blessed union is also a great reason for a refresher on the difference between GMOs and hybrids.

Tozer Seeds, the largest family-owned vegetable seed company in England, hybridized the kalette by cross-pollinating Brussels sprouts with kale (which belong to the same plant species – brassica oleracea), through self-pollination, and then cross-pollinating the parent lines using insects (something that could happen in the wild). On the other hand, genetically modified foods (GMOs) are derived from organisms whose DNA has been tampered with in an unnatural way, for example through the gene splicing or crossing different biological kingdoms.

Got it? Then what are you waiting for? Go get some kalettes!

Recipes with kalettes

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