I just tried eating kale for the first time, raw, in a salad without any dressings, and to my surprise it did not taste bitter at all unlike descriptions of its taste that I've seen online. In fact it tasted a little sweet. Is it possible for raw kale to taste sweet? Did I buy a different variety of kale?

If it helps at all: I am in New Zealand, and my taste buds are usually extremely sensitive to bitterness.

  • Not enough hard facts for an answer, but maybe a suggestion for further research: a) Typically, very young leaves are used for salads and other raw uses, they often are milder and less bitter. b) Kale breeds have been bread for industrial uses (canning) that don't need frost and are harvested sometimes as soon as September (as opposed to December), they are sweeter, too. I have a hunch that the guys over at Gardening and Landscaping might know something about kale breeds, too. Welcome to the site!
    – Stephie
    Jul 19, 2015 at 9:06
  • @Stephie In New Zealand December is summer :-) We are in winter now
    – TFD
    Jul 19, 2015 at 9:46
  • @TFD I know. But a quick research suggests that the differences between kale for raw consumption and kale for cooking are more than just seasonal.
    – Stephie
    Jul 19, 2015 at 9:48

2 Answers 2


There are quite a few very sophisticated market gardeners in New Zealand producing greens and micro-greens like no other in the world

Especially from the Pukekohe, and other volcanic silt soils areas, it's hard to grow anything bad. The crisp mornings at this time of year, and the naturally nutritious soils result in greens including kale that are very sweet and tasty

  • Ok, now I'm curious, but can't watch the video - not accessible from here. Could you summarize the important facts, please?
    – Stephie
    Jul 19, 2015 at 9:54
  • This video describes it well youtube.com/watch?v=NbrbzwLiIfU
    – TFD
    Jul 19, 2015 at 9:55
  • If there's something useful on the other side of a link, please summarize it rather than just linking, especially if it's a video, and especially if someone politely lets you know it's inaccessible in some parts of the world.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 20, 2015 at 4:17

I've found Kale to be less bitter in the traditional sense, and more like a Leafy broccoli.

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