Why Mutated Veg Is The Next Big Thing
Epicureans worth their salt know that Instagram is the foodie playbook for #CleanEating and #HealthyFats. But a flakier beast has superseded cake’s bygone status on social media, and cronuts - a mutated pastry – have become the stuff of Instagram fodder.
That a croissant-donut mutation could coexist alongside courgette noodles however is ludicrous. And clearly agriculturists agreed, with 2015 tipped as the year of the hybrid veg.
Hybrid vegetables; think cronuts or labradoodbles.
Don’t worry; these crossbred greens aren’t the product of genetic modification, but rather the work of agriculturists who crossbreed compatible plants and capture both plants’ best features.
More importantly though, these newfangled foods have fun names like ‘broccoflower’, a cross between cauliflower and broccoli, and ‘kalette’, a kale and Brussels sprouts fusion.
Why haven’t I heard of it till now?
Hybrid veg have yet to make their debut in Lidl or Tesco, with availability limited to The Organic Supermarket.
US grocery chains, Whole Foods and Trader Joes however, are trialing these products on mass, meaning kalette and broccoflower could become a dinnertime staple.
But that isn’t to say you haven’t heard of hybrids in another form. If you’re the type to keep up with food trends then you may be aware of fruits like pluots (a plum-apricot mash-up that retains its plum appearance while inheriting the apricot’s texture), or know about the pineberry, which mixes strawberries and pineapples for a white-speckled, tropical result.
What does it taste like?
Reuters (yes, Reuters; see it’s gonna be big) claim kalette is ‘milder than kale, less earthy than Brussels sprouts, and with a slightly nutty taste’. Whole Foods meanwhile describe Broccoflower as sweeter and milder than broccoli.
Is it good for me?
By all accounts this stuff is kryptonite for juice-imbibing food fanatics: broccoflower contains 2 grams of protein and fibre per serving, while kalette pushes the nutritional envelope with 90% of your daily vitamin C serving in one-cup.
How do you eat it?
Whatever way you like, these guys can be grilled, roasted, sautéed or eaten raw.
How much will it cost?
Kalettes aren’t available in Ireland (yet), but according to Trader Joes’ website a bag of kale sprouts will set you back $3, while broccoflower, though niche, is available in the Organic Supermarket at €2.29 per item.