greens (also called collards or borekale) are a group of loose-leafed
cultivars of Brassica oleracea
Acephala Group, grown for their large, dark-colored greens and as a garden
ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the Southern United
States, and in many parts of Africa. They are classified in
the same Cultivar
Group as kale and
greens, to which they are extremely similar genetically.
plant is also called couve in Brazil, couve-galega in
berza in Spanish-speaking countries.
The name "collard" is said to derive from Anglo-Saxon coleworts
or colewyrts ("cabbage plants").
Cultivar Group name Acephala Group ("without a head" in Latin) refers to the fact that this
kind of cabbage does not have the usual close-knit core of leaves ("head") of
regular cabbage. The plant is a biennial in cooler climates,
warmer regions. It has a stout upright or twisted stalk, up to 60 cm tall. Compared
to other cabbage cultivars, it is relatively resistant to cold and frost.
originate from the Mediterranean region, and
was a regular food item in Ancient Greece and Rome.
plant is very similar to kale (col crespa in Spanish),
but kale has smaller and crinklier leaves, with tougher stems and veins.
is commercially cultivated for its thick, slightly bitter edible leaves. They
are available year-round, but many people believe that they are tastier and more
nutritious in the cold months, after the first frosts. For best flavor and texture, the leaves should be
picked before they reach their maximum size. Flavor and texture also depend on
the couve-manteiga and couve tronchuda are especially appreciated
in Brazil and Portugal.
firm, dark green leaves are fit for consumption; any wilted or yellowish leaves
must be discarded. Fresh collard leaves can be stored up to 10 days if refrigerated
to just above freezing (1 °C) at high humidity (>95%). In domestic refrigerators,
fresh collard can be stored for about three days. Once cooked, it can be frozen
and stored indefinitely.
leaves have little food value and are poorly digestible when raw. They are
usually consumed cooked, as meal fillers and as a source of dietary
fiber, especially as a balance to fish and meat dishes. They are also rich in
vitamins A, C
(which however is destroyed by cooking), B1, and B2. Each 100 g of leaves provides 46 calories (190 kilojoules) of food energy
and contains 4 g of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 7 g of carbohydrates.
greens in US cuisine
greens are a basic "soul food" of the Southern United States
cuisine. They may actually be prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables,
such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard leaves in "mixed greens".
They are generally a "winter" dish in the South, as the plants tend to run to
seed during warmer weather. Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year's Day
(along with black-eyed peas and hog
jowls) to insure wealth in the coming year, as the leaves resemble folding
greens in Brazil and Portugal
Brazil and Portugal,
collard greens are common accompaniments of fish and meat dishes. In Brazil, they are a
standard side dish for feijoada (a popular pork-and-beans stew). The leaves are sliced
into strips, 1 to 3 mm wide (sometimes by the grocer
or market vendor, with a special hand-cranked slicer) and
oil or butter, flavored with garlic, onion, and salt.
sliced collard greens are also the main ingredient of a popular soup, caldo verde
juice pressed from fresh leaves and leaf stalks, taken regularly, is popularly
believed to be a remedy for gout, bronchitis, and blood circulation problems.