Sale of kale gets nuttier for Coles with launch of Kalette offshoot
Australia’s obsession with kale has been taken to a new level with Coles introducing a unique twist on the vegetable.
Named the ‘kalette’ it is a hybrid of kale and brussel sprouts grown together to make one vegetable.
The vegetable is grown in the Adelaide Hills and is being sold to the Australian market exclusively through Coles. The supermarket says kalette is the first vegetable commercially introduced into Australia in over a decade. The last vegetable was broccolini, a mix between broccoli and kai-lan.
Coles describes kalette as being sweet with a slight nutty taste. It more resembles the look of kale than the brussel sprout.
Kalette was first grown in the UK and has since become available in other parts of the world.
The vegetable can be sautéed, steamed, blanched, roasted, grilled or eaten raw in salads. It has been described as a highly versatile vegetable.
Coles expect Kalette “to be popular with customers looking to try something different and add variety to their meals.”
Kale and brussel sprouts both come from the Brassica Oleracea species of plant which enables them to make a good match for hybridization.
In order to grow kalettes and other hybrid vegetables, the pollen from a female vegetable flower must be mixed with another vegetable flower. The crossover will not occur in the next lot of vegetables but in those that follow, from there hybrid seeds will be created.
Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are also part of the same family which explains the growth of similar hybrids such as Broccoflower (a cross between cauliflower and broccoli). The broccoflower was a huge success in the US when it was introduced into stores in the late 1980’s.
In 2015, retailers nutritionists and growers are predicting that hybrid vegetables could become a catalyst for consumers to start eating more greens that are needed for a balanced healthy diet and improved eating habits.
How kalettes came to be in Australia
The kalette is being grown in Australia by Samwell and Sons in conjunction with vegetable supplier Fresh Select. The Samwell and Sons farm is located at Mount Barker in South Australia. The Managing Director of the company, Scott Samwell, told Australian Food News he became aware of kalette and its global reach when overseas conducting his own research looking for innovations to improve the business sustainability of his business. As a result he made a decision to experiment with growing of the hybrid vegetable on his return to Australia.