Friday, March 20, 2015

Culinary Trends in 2015: Collards

Johnny’s Product Managers are weighing in on the National Restaurant Association’s list of this year’s top culinary trends. Last week, Vegetable Product Technician, Steven Rodrigue, discussed Micro Greens. The week prior, Vegetable Product Technician, Steve Bellavia, covered the topic of Hot Peppers. This week, Vegetable Product Technician, Julius Koenig, will be sharing his thoughts on Collards:


  By Julius Koenig

  Vegetable Product Technician

Collards (Brassica oleracea) have been a staple vegetable for the southern U.S. for many decades. Now collards are becoming haute cuisine in many dining establishments across the country. The reason behind this interest could be the nutritional content; collards are packed with vitamins and minerals, also providing a great source of fiber. There has also been the comparison between kale and collards, which has many people debating which vegetable is their favorite.
At Johnny's, we offer three varieties of collards. Whether you’re looking for a Georgia type, known for savoyed leaves, or the Vates types with leaves that are smooth and flat, we have the selection to meet your needs. ‘TopBunch F1’, a lightly savoyed Georgia type that is very quick to mature in 50 days.  ‘Flash F1’ is a Vates type, with a beautiful dark green smooth leaf. ‘Champion’, our open-pollinated option, is a Vates type with large dark green leaves, but is also the best choice for baby leaf. 
Long-time Johnny’s Product Technician Steve Bellavia, who has trialed Brassicas for more than 15 years, says, “I prefer collards to kale, due to their sweetness.”  Interested in trying collards yourself? A simple Google search will yield you hundreds of recipes to try; from the traditional steamed collards to collard sushi. When cooking collards, don’t neglect the fibrous stem, which can be steamed or sautéed minutes before the leaves are thrown in the pot. 

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