by kate villa
Kale is a superfood. It has nutrients galore and can be whipped into a pungent smoothie that is gross and nutritious at worst, trendy and overrun with another flavor at best. But what is our obsession with this dinosaur-esque green leaf? This Paleolithic piece of cardboard passed off as salad? Why didn’t the world see spinach and be all like “you are enough.” Honestly, if I was spinach, I would be PISSED OFF.
If spinach could talk, it would be that old guy sitting on the end of the bar with a perpetually half full, slightly frothy pint muttering to himself about the good ol’ days when someone had the sense to make him the star of a cartoon television show and he had to walk to school uphill both ways.
Here’s the real deal about Kale. It’s the Kardashian of greens. It’s trendy, served up in LA and is welcome as a “serious meal” in basically no other place. There is a lot of buzz about Kale but no one can really tell you why. They also both start with K’s. See what I mean? Match made in salad heaven.
If you want to get detailed about it, Spinach is the Meryl Streep of greens. She’s the best. She’s got the depth and the breadth. She fucked Alec Baldwin in a romantic comedy once and was critically perfect in Sophie’s Choice. Who else can do that? Spinach. That’s who. But, if you want a little Reese Witherspoon down-home-southern-comfort, you can do chard one night. And if you’re literally the most boring person on the planet, the Anne Hathaway of them all, you’re just going to order a fucking hunk of iceberg lettuce. But then, when you really want something real, you always go back to Meryl.
Ah, but the world has fallen for Kale, now. And I think Kale is gross.
Your initial response to this analysis might go something like “what’s your name again?” or “is there someone else I can talk to about this? I’m actually really digging Kale salads right now.”
Ok. No, there is no one else who’s going to sit here and talk to you about greens for as long as I have, so just appreciate me. Secondly, you’re not actually enjoying ingesting Kale. I’m going to show you that you’re not enjoying it. Ready?
Let’s do a quick exercise. Think about looking at a Kale salad. It’s crispy. You see that. You can smell the spritz of lemon vinaigrette they’ve put on it. There are a few toppings. Probably nothing with gluten. You probably went vegan, also, knowing you…. So the only things on it are edamame beans and chopped up, raw red peppers.
Now, pick up your fork and take a bite.
Alright. It’s good so far. You’re thinking “man, I’ve got this bitch beat.”
Now try to swallow the leaf.
You can’t. You’re about to have tiny bits of raw kale leaf in your throat until the waiter takes pity on you and brings over a glass of water.
And then you’ll continue to find them in your teeth until next spring.
You’re making your way slowly through the salad, trying to set the right proportion of toppings to kale because, as I said before, Kale kinda sucks.
And now you’re at the bottom of the bowl. There is just kale. This is the real test. In your mind, are you eating JUST the kale now that all the toppings are gone?
No. No you’re not. And if you are, you should take the next fucking flight to mars and please start a new, healthy AND LOVING IT human colony.
I’ll stick with the side of fries. Thanks.