Kale, now that in my head goes hand in hand with yoga, quinoa and those low-crotched harem pants I see schlupping around town. It's a bit like the dubstep of the food world - does anyone actually like it or are they all trying to keep up with appearances? Or is it like Marmite and andouillette, you have to grow up with it on order to enjoy it?
In The Netherlands, kale is actually still eaten regularly (and I had eaten it before ever having heard the word kale, under its Dutch pseudonym of boerenkool) in a popular Dutch peasent dish stamppot, which is potatoes and kale mashed together, usually served with sausage. Now that will certainly stick to your ribs!
The first time I actually heard about kale in terms of the american phenomomen, was while living in Paris. You might think thats weird, what with all those French trying so hard to forget it...but it was because of a new transport to the city, like myself, Kristen. I admire Kristen a lot for starting The Kale Project in order to bring kale to France, when she found herself new in Paris with little French and no job (all been there, it's not easy!). You can find a cool video of her here talking about her journey with The Kale Project.
When I was in France her project was still in its early stages and so my commitment to kale (having never really tried it or put 2 and 2 together with boerenkool) wasnt enough to get me schlepping over to the rive gauche to find that one market stand who stocked it (in reality there was probably more but you understand the gist of things).