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The Brassica naups varieties from Knold + Top belong to same species as Hannover-salad, nabicol and Siberian kale (rape kales). Those kales have been selected over the last centuries as a Brassica naups leaf vegetable. But our kale varieties originate from oilseed rape, today the most known type of Brassica napus bred for seed and oil yield.
Knold + Top discovered new genetic backgrounds without the strong astringent taste normally present in leaves of oilseed rape. This makes the leaves of our kale varieties very tasty. Our varieties are even less astringent than classical rape kales such as the Siberians. The Knold + Top varieties have a mild but still distinct taste. Through crossings we are combining the properties from our new salad types with traits from the old rape kales to breed disease resistant, tasty salads with new shapes and colors.
Like the leaves from the cabbage family colza leaves are rich sources of glucosinolates. To some extent glucosinolates prevent certain types of cancer, diabetes 2 and other diseases.
Our new kales are more productive than B. oleraceae kales and 30 % – 50 % higher leaf yields per sq. meter have been recorded. Furthermore harvest can be made up to 5 days earlier. In general they are more resistant to downy mildew compared to B. oleracea kales although exceptions can be found among varieties.
From some of the varieties the leaves on big plants (until start of flowering) taste like pointed cabbage. The winter types produce a very tasty salad in the early spring where other salad alternatives are scarce in the in the gardens.
Use of Brassica napus kales
The baby leaves can be used alone or mixed with other baby leaves. They can be eaten raw or slightly cooked. Big leaves are coarser than baby leaves and should be chopped or boiled.