Dinosaur kale, the dark, pebbly skinned variety, has hooked thousands of children on the pleasures of leafy greens by name alone. (Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles Times / October 23, 2012)

Does kale cure cancer? Will it make your teeth whiter and brighter? Has it publicly canoodled with Pippa Middleton, Khloe Kardashian or J.K. Rowling? Not that we know of, no. But kale is this year's glamorous “it” vegetable, served at all the best restaurants, as beloved in smoothies as it is in a vegan gratin. It seems like just yesterday that kale was an ornamental garden border that even hungry rabbits wouldn't touch. Just look at it now.



Beef quiz: Jonathan Gold vs. You

Jonathan Gold quiz: Why not eat bugs?

Jonathan Gold tests your knowledge of food and Islam