Friday, March 21, 2014

Because not enough has been said or written about kale and its availability in La Nouvelle-Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM

click to enlarge Cassie and Peter Dymond of Satsuma Cafe in the Marigny are featured in Aljazeera America's story about kale kale kale kale kale kale kale.
  • Cassie and Peter Dymond of Satsuma Cafe in the Marigny are featured in Aljazeera America's story about kale kale kale kale kale kale kale.

The whole kale-or-not-to-kale discussion has finally reached meta status, as an international news organization is now writing about the previous stories about kale in New Orleans. Kale has become to the Crescent City what Malaysian Air Flight 370 is to CNN, what Benghazi is to Fox News, what N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is to MSNBC.

Aljazeera America's Peter Moskowitz has produced a story called "Kale causes controversy in New Orleans," which touches upon the whole gentrification discussion before going on to talk about Grow Dat Youth Farm, which is a great approach to the whole matter.

Perhaps best of all, however, are the comments:

When did kale become ruffage for the gentrified? My dearly beloved grandmother, RIP, African American, not where near upper crust used to grow her own kale in Indiana and made the best greens I've ever had to this day. This is silliness.

Kale was always the thing mixed with mustard greens, collard greens - cook it up and sprinkled it with vinegar. When did it become cosmopolitan and hip? My moms from the southeast and she remembers it as something poor people ate because it was cheep and easy to grow. It was "soul Food." It wasn't really an upper crust white thing. Now that white non southerners have discovered it, it's cool? Beyond silly, and probably why it costs so much now.

The author is clearly not a southerner or he would know that boiled kale, usually with a ham-hock and skillet-fat thrown in, is an old traditional poor-southern dish (AKA "soul food" to black USAns who ancestors migrated north). Like that other great southern/soul-food cruciferous green, collards, kale is a heat-resistant and grows and grows in the hot southern summers. It seem to be that its absence, not presence, would be a sign of gentrification. The twist here is that latest batch of millenials - the so-called gentrifying "creative class" hipsters - make it a fashion statement to adopt old red-neck symbols like Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, and, apparently, kale. But the author seems to miss this point.

What is a "dat"? I understand "grow, youth, and farm". Please don't tell me it is a replacement for the word, that?

And, of course, we circle back to the H-word:

Hipsters ruin everything.
Good morning.

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