I just made a fruit smoothie with Kale, banana, Apple, blueberries, vegan protein powder, chia and flax. It was like drinking a smoothie with horse radish. The blueberries were the only difference with my favorite smoothie. Did the blueberries cause this drink to be spicy hot?
There's a chance the extra sugar from the blueberries has helped bring the peppery taste from the kale out a bit more. Kale is known for its light peppery flavor much like watercress but not any where near the heat of horseradish. The addition of sugar, much like salt is great for intensifying flavors.
Rather than try and describe the taste of kale myself, I'll use the words of someone else instead.
The flavor is peppery and assertive, and can have a pleasantly bitter edge.
Source: A Sweet and Savory Life <- A good read if you are more interested in kale.
So, in reply to your question. Yes, Kale can taste hot like Horseradish.
Yes, it can be hot. I juiced some Kale last night and it was nothing like what I have had before. This kale was like horseradish or hot mustard. The smell was so strong and pungent! And the taste was spicy/hot. It tasted like a wasabi smoothie.
Many leafy greens when harvested at full maturity are peppery. They are meant to be harvested young
So basically you got sold "old stock"
I have never had kale that is hot. I bought what I was told was kale at the farm and art market. When I tried it, it was so hot. I think it was mustard greens. Looking at the pictures, they do look alike. It would not be good in a fruit smoothy.
As a member of the Brassica family kale contains at least some amount of glucosinolate, which is exactly the stuff that makes horseradish hot. It is present in other Brassica family members as well such as white cabbage or the like. Some varieties of kale might have more of it than others. The thing with glucosinolate is that it looses much of its heat during the cooking process, which is why cooked kale mostly doesn't taste hot. I assume you used raw kale in the smoothie, which means the glucosinolates were still intact. So it is entirely possible that this time you just picked a kale with a higher concentration of glucosinolate than usual.
Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala) is not hot.
Brassica juncea, commonly brown mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, leaf mustard, Oriental mustard and vegetable mustard, is a species of mustard plant.
One subvariety is southern giant curled mustard, which resembles a headless cabbage such as kale, but with a distinct horseradish or mustard flavor. It is also known as green mustard cabbage.
Curly kale (source: Wikipedia)
Southern Giant Curled Leaf Mustard (source: Amazon)