Kale Picture Guide:What’s so great about kale? Here we tell you everything you need to know about a vegetable that is little known in Japan.

Leaves:Kale is a type of cabbage but the leaves remain open and have a deep green color.

Roots根:The plant appears robust from the surface but its roots are surprisingly delicate.

ケールってどんな野菜?

Kale (Japanese name: Hagoromo-kanran) is a Brassica oleracea plant that is said to be the original variety of cabbage. It originates from the Mediterranean and Middle East. It is said that Iberians used wild kale as food in what is now Spain and that it then spread throughout Europe after the Celts invaded the Mediterranean coastline and spread the cultivation of kale.
Kale is thought to have been brought to Japan by the Dutch in the Edo Period, and initially kale was used in Japan not as food but as an ornamental plant. Kale is the original form of cabbage but its leaves do not wrap around the plant like a cabbage. Instead they spread out to collect sunshine and the plant is characterized by its large spreading leaves.

Kale

Scientific name:
Brassica oleracea var. acephala
Japanese names:
Hagoromo-kanran
Ryokuyo-kanran

Column:Kale is well-known overseas

Kale is not well-known on the Japanese dinner table, but it is commonly sold in supermarkets in the West and is a commonly eaten vegetable used in salads, stir-fries, soups and rolled cabbage dishes, etc.

Where is Q’SAI’s kale grown?

Kale prefers a cooler climate and its growth temperature is said to be around 20°C. It withstands the cold well but is relatively weak in summer heat. It can be grown throughout the year by changing the cultivation region.
Kale has two crops depending on the time of harvest - a “winter crop” and a “spring crop”. We grow kale throughout the year by switching production regions between Q’SAI Group farms in Shimane and contracted farmers in Shimane and Kyushu.

  • Winter crop

    Planting:
    Around September to October
    Harvesting:
    Around November to early April

    Cultivated at Q’sai Farm Shimane and contracted farmers in Kyushu and Shimane

  • Spring crop

    Planting:
    Around March
    Harvesting:
    Around May to early June

    Cultivated at Q’sai Farm Shimane and contracted farmers in Kyushu and Shimane

Column:The seeds are only about 2 mm in size!

Kale leaves can grow big enough to cover your whole face, but the seeds are a tiny 2 mm in size. Small round seeds can be found growing in rows inside a pod, similar to French beans. Q’SAI has selected our kale from among thousands of rootstock in order to grow better varieties, and we collect seeds from particularly strong kale, thereby helping to improve our rootstock.

Is it true that the taste changes depending on the season?

Winter kale collects large volumes of nutrients and grows slowly so that its leaves do not freeze and to prepare for flowering in the spring. However, in the summer when the temperature rises, kale absorbs the sunshine and grows quickly, making it slightly bitter. The reason the taste of Q’SAI’s aojiru changes through the seasons is because we do not adjust the flavor. This is proof that our product is as nature intended and does not contain any “unnecessary additives”.

Kale Nutritional Trivia

Kale is a “super high beta-carotene vegetable” containing large amount of nutrients that people tend to lack in modern life. This is why Q’SAI has continued to produce kale aojiru ever since we launch our first aojiru product in 1982.

Good for your eyes!Kale has plenty of lutein!
Double the amount contained in spinach!
Supporting youthful looks Rich in polyphenol
Kale is a super high beta-carotene vegetable
Strength and durability!High calcium absorption rate
Approx. 1.27 times the calcium absorption rate of milk

Kale has so many of the nutrients we lack in modern life!

Carotene
Contains 5 times as much as tomatoes!
Calcium
Richer in calcium that dairy products!
Vitamin C
More Vitamin C than strawberries!
Dietary fiber
More dietary fiber than lettuce

Q’SAI makes aojiru with a firm focus on kale

Q’SAI makes a point of using kale as the raw material for our aojiru because it is a super high beta-carotene vegetable that contains large volumes of the vitamins and minerals people tend to lack in modern life, as you can see from the above graphs. We only use kale that has been grown in Japan without agrichemicals or chemical fertilizers, based on a thorough internal management system from cultivation through to production. We have continued to make aojiru with the goal of contributing to the healthy and fulfilling lives of our customers.