The collard, with its close relative, kale, is one of the oldest members of the cabbage family. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean countries or to Asia Minor. It has been under cultivation for so long and has been so shifted about by prehistoric traders and migrating tribes that it is not certain which of these regions is the hbme of the species. Wild cabbage, from which the collard and the more highly developed horticultural forms arose, is still found growing along the coastal regions of Europe and Northern Africa. Its use by man as food antedates written history, and it is believed to have been in common use for more than 4,000 years. All the principal forms of collards known today have been cultivated for at least 2,000 years. Well before the Christian era the Greeks and Romans grew this plant. "Coles"(collards and kales) were described by European writers in the first, third, fourth, and thirteenth centuries.
It seems probable that the Celts may have introduced coles to France and Britain. They invaded Mediterranean lands repeatedly from about 600 B.C. and reached into the British Isles in the fourth century B.C. The English name is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon "coleworts" or "colewyrts," meaning literally "cabbage plants."
The first known mention of collards in America was in 1669, but because of their popularity in European gardens, it is probable that they were introduced somewhat earlier.
There are several varieties of collards, each of which is prepared in many ways. In recent years some finely chopped or sieved collards have been canned for baby foods, or for persons requiring a special diet. They can be used either cooked, or raw in salads, very much the same as cabbage.
Benefits of CollardCollards are very rich in calcium and a good source of vitamins A and C. Collards are good for the respiratory system, the digestive system, the skeletal system, the lymphatic system, the eliminative and urinary system, and the nervous system. This vegetable is invaluable to nearly every part of the body!
Nutrients in one pound
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