Italy: Kale becoming increasingly popular

Kale has become increasingly popular on the market. While still not widely used in Italy, it has become a staple of all healthy diets in the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Scandinavia and US.

"At Caab-Centro Agroalimentare di Bologna, we sell it mainly to restaurants, as some chefs use it with pasta or as a base for some dishes. It has considerable nutritional properties and people like it as its flavour vaguely resembles turnip greens," explains operator Roberto Bortolotti.

In northern Italy, harvesting started in late August and will continue for a few weeks. Wholesale prices are €3/kg. On a very popular online platform (FruttaWeb), three kg crates are sold at €22.95 (i.e. €7.65/kg), while 650 gram portions are sold at €3.99 (€6.13/kg).

From an agronomic point of view, kale doesn't grow well on stubble or on soil that was planted with other brassicas, tomatoes, pulses and strawberries. There are multiple varieties of kale of different colours, leaf texture and growing periods.

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