I don’t eat fish because it tastes like licking the bottom of a boat. I’ve never licked the bottom of a boat, but I’m sure it would taste like fish. I do hate to slander boats by making such a claim. But once every few years I feel the need to be self-righteous about my health and eat fish since it’s supposedly some kind of super food, so I’ll go to Captain D’s and get the 2-piece fish dinner with fries and hushpuppies. It’s amazing how eating a meal made up entirely of deep fried foods can negate any self-righteous health consciousness.
There are a host of other foods that are rumored to be nutritional powerhouses but have a very miniscule group of devoted followers. Kale is one such food. I’ve never eaten kale because all this time I thought the produce section only sold it for snobby people to decorate their plates with. I seriously thought it was the curly green garnish fine restaurants poke onto the edge of your plate on its way out the kitchen door and I just assumed there were people out there who were big enough jackwagons that they would actually purchase it to garnish their plates of Skillet Sensations at home.
Turns out, there are actually a lot of recipes for kale on the internet and one such recipe—Kale Chips—looked suspiciously promising. It had all kinds of reviewer comments like, “Tastes just like potato chips,” and “I’ll never serve anything else with dip ever again.” They sucked me in. They got me.
I sought out the least wilty-looking bunch of kale I could find and had to root through the produce bin for ages for a bunch that didn’t look like it had been man-handled too much. I took it home, washed it, chopped it, and according to the recipe I baked it in the oven with some sea salt. And I waited.
The interesting thing about kale is its ability to taste like a completely different food. Unfortunately, it took me several bites to figure out that the different food it tastes like is brussel sprouts. I’m actually okay with brussel sprouts, but they’re not usually my go-to snack food. Wait, there was another interesting thing about kale, at least once you bake it with sea salt: it dissolves when you eat it. It was the weirdest sensation, crunching up a crackling leaf and having it dissolve. I can’t think of a lot of other melt-in-your-mouth experiences with roughage foods, but that’s what happened.
All in all, kale will have to fall into the same category I reserve for fish, which is foods that I only eat once in a while because they’re very good for me. At least this food group hasn’t languished in the mire of seaweed and barnacles, which is only fleetingly comforting.