The Origin of Collard Greens
May 02, 2012
Collard greens are cool cruciferous vegetables, wherever, whenever.
Think about it.
They are country cousins when tossed into the pot with fatback, smoked neck bones or any other down-home ingredient we choose. On other occasions, they easily transition into city socialites when paired with otherwise peculiar partners, such as omelets and sandwiches.
Let’s face it – collard greens are popular plants with a hip history that begins way, way back in time.
Food historians tell us collard greens are the dinosaurs of vegetables because their origin is rooted in prehistoric times. According to Linda Stradley of What’s Cooking America, ancient Greeks grew collard greens and kale. Romans, she said, produced several varieties, including one with large leaves and stalks possessing a mild flavor.
Vermelle “Bunny” Rodrigues, an oral historian and owner of The Gullah O’oman Museum and Gift Shop in Pawleys Island, SC, said some folks mistakenly believe African slaves brought collard greens to America.
“A lot of black folks and white folks think the slaves brought collards greens here, but we didn’t,” Rodrigues said. “Collard greens were already here.”
African slaves and Native Americans shared ideas on how to cook a variety of food, including collard greens, Rodrigues said.
“We had that mixture of culture,” she said.
Although a genuine staple in American South cuisine, collard greens show up in pots around the world.
Gomen Wat, for example, is a traditional, vegetarian Ethiopian dish made with collard greens, exotic herbs, olive oil and other ingredients. It is often featured on the menus of Ethiopian restaurants across America.
Collard greens, which are members of the cabbage family, are also no strangers to Portuguese cuisine, making an appearance in such delights like Portuguese green soup. Still arguably, Southern cooks get the highest accolades for their creative touch when cooking a mess of greens. Connoisseurs of collard greens, close kin of kale, make certain to utilize every aspect of collard greens, including the pot liquor (the nutrient-laced liquid made when boiling greens) as a soulful au jus for dunking their cornbread.
They are chock full of iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and other nutrients.
No wonder it is listed as one of “The World’s Healthiest Foods,’’ in the book of the same title by George Mateljan, a nutritionist, biologist and businessman.
- McCall Farms Celebrates Eat Your Vegetables Day
- Glory Foods Power Essence Smoothies
- McCall Farms Shares Delicious Summer Recipes
- National Canned Food Month
- Glory Foods presents #MeatlessMonday
- Happy Holidays from Glory Foods
- Happy Thanksgiving from Glory Foods
- National Dessert Day
- Taste of Charlotte 2015
- A little history on Glory Foods
- 5 Soup Recipes for National Soup Month
- Kale Greens is great for southern recipes and good for you too!
- Glory Foods Brings its Own Style of Southern to Taste of Dallas
- Recipe Contest to Encourage Kids to Eat More Greens!
- School’s Back: Easy Weeknight Meals
- Glory Foods Helps Keep Your Kitchen Cool With No-Oven Meal Ideas
- Drink to Your Health: Smoothies vs. Juicing
- Glory Foods Wins Overall ‘Best Theme’ in ‘Cantribution’ Contest
- Glory Foods Awards Winner of the Race to Feeding America Sweepstakes
- The Possibilities of Eggs Are Easy To Crack with Glory Foods
- Glory Foods Goes Global with Fusion Cuisine at Michigan International Women’s Show
- Home Economist Hones Down-Home Recipes for Glory Foods at Southern Women’s Show in Raleigh
- Restaurant Owner to Share Recipes Featuring Glory Foods at Southern Women’s Show in Richmond
- Nutrition Expert Presents Delicious Dishes at Southern Women’s Show in Nashville
- Cooking With Herbs The Glory Foods Way
- Summer Salad Recipes: Easy Dishes Made To Delight
- Making Sauces The Glory Foods Way
- Easter Recipes: Preparing an Easter Feast with Glory Foods
- Glory Foods Announces ‘Honor Your Hero’ Photo Contest Winners
- National Nutrition Month: The Good in Glory Foods
- Glory Foods Brings its Soulful Heritage to Southern Women’s Show in Memphis
- Glory Foods New Smoked Sausage Products have Southern Twist
- Glory Foods Features Canned Goodness at 2013 Southern Women’s Shows
- Canned Vegetables Nutrition: The Cans of Canned Food
- Glory Foods New Smoked Sausage Products Boast Southern Flavor
- Heart Health Month: Be Sensibly Seasoned About It!
- Glory Foods Launches ‘Honor Your Hero’ Photo Contest in Celebration of Black History Month
- Glory Foods will be Featured on ABC’s ‘The Chew’ starting Friday, Feb 1
- Glory Foods Introduces Touchdown Recipes for the Big Game on Feb 3
- Glory Foods Holiday Decorations Contest Winners Capture Spirit of Season
- Two Students at Ohio State University Awarded the Glory Foods Minority Scholarship
- Glory Foods Sponsors Holiday Food Bank Drive on December 7 & 8 with Myrtle Beach Business
- Glory Foods, Inc. Debuts New Ad Campaign Featuring “The Green Bean Challenge”
- Glory Foods Introduces a Fresh Batch of Recipes for the New Year
- Women Win Glory Foods, Inc. Pumpkin Carving Contest
- NASCAR Drives Face-Off Against Hunger at Bank of American 500 on October 13 for Glory Foods, Inc.
- Race to Feeding American Campaign Donates $50,000 to Feeding America to Benefit Child Hunger Relief
- Black History Month Food: Cooking Up African Culture Rooted in American Soil
- Facts About Cheese and Why We Love It So
- Quick and Easy Soup Recipes to Celebrate National Soup Month
- Quick and Easy Healthy Recipes to Start Your New Year Off Right!
- Hoppin’ John: The Rice and Peas Dish Symbolizing Good Luck Tastes Good - Just in Time for New Years!
- Food: The Gifts of Glory They Won’t Give Away
- Glory Foods Side Dishes Add Kick To Any Dinner
- Thanksgiving Meals from Coast To Coast
- Holiday Desserts: Calories Worth The Plunge
- Green Bean Casserole: A Tradition Meets Diversity
- Vegetables reign in October and beyond
- A Sweet History: Sweet Potatoes are old, but still gold
- Food Banks serve as storehouses of hope
- Glory Foods $1 Million NASCAR Challenge
- Rice: A Universal Food
- Apples are worth the Bite
- Black-Eyed Peas Hash
- Chicagoan Wins Glory Foods Summer Recipe Contest With Sweet Potato Casserole Entry
- Glory Foods, Inc. Introduces “Race To Feeding America” Campaign At Irwin Tools Night Race in Bristol
- Back-to-School Breakfast
- Glory Foods Recipe for Turkey, Beans, and Rice Casserole - Perfect for any Weekday Dinner!
- NASCAR Sponsorship/Feeding America
- Glory Foods, Inc. Launches “Race To Feeding America” Campaign
- Collard Greens Compliment Your Cooking
- Your Labor Day Made Easy With Glory Foods
- A Healthy & Delicious Meal
- The Ultimate Fourth of July Feast
- Meet A Dessert You Won’t Desert
- Juneteenth: Celebration of Freedom, Celebration of Food
- Showcase Your Best For Glory Foods’ Recipe Contest
- New Glory Foods Videos Feature Tasty Meals
- Glory Foods Debuts Green Bean Challenge Video Online
- Glory Foods And Richmond Flying Squirrels To Host Food Drive July 22 For Central Virginia Food Bank
- A Northerner’s Introduction to Southern Collard Greens
- Residents of Nebraska, Oregon and Wisconsin Win Prizes in Glory Foods Social Media Photo Contest
- There’s Nobody Like Mom
- The Origin of Collard Greens
- Mother’s Day Cooking Ideas
- Glory Foods Cultivates Canned Food Education at 14th annual Micki Zartman Scarlet & Gray Ag Day
- Glory Foods Launches Social Media Photo Contest To Celebrate Mother’s Day
- Glory Foods Continues Successful Sourcing of Vegetables from Southeastern United States Farmers
- Glory Foods Reintroduces Sensibly Seasoned All Natural Lower Sodium Product Line
- Jamie Stolarz’ Kale Chips
- The Benefits of Collard Greens
- Easter and Glory Foods
- Fall Fest: Chicken Smashed Potatoes
- Glorious Holiday Meals
- The Charlotte Southern Women’s Show
- Getting Our Boogaloo On
- Cheaper To Keep Her
- Fall Fest: Creamed Spinach
- Orlando Southern Women’s Show
- Bound For Philly With Yolanda Adams
To get the latest recipes, meal plans and special offers subscribe to our email list.