Kale Up Close and Personal

Kale Up Close and Personal


Kay, daughter of the founders of Tengu, is continuing their good work in joining suppliers to you, the consumers. Tengu has always firmly believed in not just finding delicious, healthy products, but also learning as much as possible about the people and stories behind the products. 


Kay’s trip was hosted by Ulla Andersen, the Executive Managing Director of the company Green Gourmet in Denmark. She introduced Kay to Tingaard family farm,  now run by two brothers, where she saw where the kale was grown. The soil was noticeably heavy clay, very unlike our fine soil here in Japan, rich in nutrients and fertilized with manure from a nearby cattle farm. Having tasted the kale Kay was surprised by the size of the each plant, it’s rich color and strong flavor. Kale is a very tough winter vegetable which survives the harsh Danish winters. In recent years kale has been bred to have a milder, sweeter flavor, but according to their research (we can send a pdf if you’re interested) it is the traditionally grown, bitter tasting varieties which have the best health benefits. 



Kay was then taken to Hjorring, where she and Ulla were joined by the owners of Green Gourmet and their family. They were treated to more kale dishes than you can imagine! Kale bread, kale spaghetti, kale yoghurt parfait, kale ice cream, kale frosting, kale soup, kale omelet, even kale face masks (photo below)! This was easily the highlight of the trip; sitting down to a family meal, sharing good food and chatting about kale, farming and life in Denmark. Ulla’s grandmother used to say, “If it wasn’t for kale there would be no danes.” Kale is part of the Danish culture and has been for a very long time, way before it became a superfood trend. It is and always has been an excellent source of fibre, iron, vitamins and calcium and should be a part of everyone’s diet.