couve tronchuda or portugese kale

merrydancerMarch 7, 2012

Does anyone have seeds of the various portugese kale varieties. They are almost impossible to get in this country except couve tronchuda. Happy to pay whatever you want for seeds of other varieties. I have seen postings that seed are available from portugal but can't find a source. Tried to order from company in Europe. Pain but seeds never arried.

Help getting the various varieties would be MUCH appreciated.

thank you, mary

my email is mybackyardfarm@comcast.net

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bi11me(5b)

#1540 Beira Tronchuda Cabbage: 85 days
AKA Couve Tronchuda, Portuguese Kale or Sea Kale, Tronchuda is a bright jade-green, loose-headed cabbage with fleshy white mid-ribs and wide-spreading leaves. Hailing from Portugal, this wonderful new variety is sweeter and more tender than regular cabbage. Harvest the whole plant or just the outer leaves to generate re-growth from the center, where its leaves are paler, more mildly flavored and embellished with frilly edges. Suitable for a wide range of climates, Tronchuda tolerates heat spells or may be wintered over in more temperate winters. It is the perfect choice for the traditional Portuguese soup, Caldo Verde. A one-dish meal featuring finely-scissored Kale, Caldo Verde is enhanced by the tender sweet leaves of Tronchuda in combination with its smoky, thinly sliced chouri�o (or chiorozo), minced onions, minced garlic and mashed potatoes. (F1.)

Packet of 100 Seeds / $3.55

Here is a link that might be useful: Scheepers

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 7:18PM
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denninmi(8a)

OK, I can't help the OP, but I have a question -- I'm a little confused, could you please clarify?

Your posts suggests/implies that there are other varieties of "Portuguese Kale" besides the "Couve Tronchuda" (Which I grew the past 2 years and found awesome!).

Could you possibly describe some of these other varieties and tell us how they differ from Couve Tronchuda?

I am always looking for something new and different, so this intrigues me.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 7:40PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Here is another source.
Gourmet Seeds seems to source many of their seeds from Europe. They have many Italian and French varieties of cabbage and this Portugese one as well. This is their description:

An ancient strain of Portuguese or Tronchuda Kale grown for the fleshy petioles and broad midribs of the leaves eaten like celery. Grows very much like headed cabbage and can also be used much the same. Many folks find this to be superior to many common kales or collards. Very productive. UNTREATED.

I did see a note on a message board that Portugal would only do the phytosanitary permits on large volumes and that right now there is not enough demand for the other varities to make it economically viable for companies to offer a wide range.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gourmet Seeds-Portugese Tronchuda

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:09PM
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planatus(6)

I found this in Territorial's winter gardening catalog last year and tried it as a fall crop. It was interesting, but perhaps needs an earlier start to do well. This year I'll try starting seeds in June. Just checked their catalog and it looks like they don't have it anymore, at least not right now.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:12AM
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bi11me(5b)

There are several European seed companies that have it, often listed under Cabbage rather than Kale, but then you have exchange rates, shipping costs, and timing to deal with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 9:20AM
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teauteau(KC5/6)

I bought the tronchuda from Gourmet Seeds this year. Good for caldo verde soup! Delicious if you like the flavors of cabbage with sausage. You can also use linguica sausage or if you don't have linguica use Polish or Andouille for a substitute. The soup is delicious. Can't wait to see how the tronchuda turns out.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 10:25AM
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MrClint

Posted this info in another thread:
I'm trial-ing "Tronchuda Beira" Portuguese Kale for the first time this year. Seeds can be purchased online at Renee's seeds, or locally (at least here in So Cal) at most OSH Hardware stores.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:27PM
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glib(5.5)

Those of you who have tried it: can you tell us how does it compare to collards, in taste and production?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:48PM
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planatus(6)

No comparison in terms of productivity. Spring or fall, collards is the champ.

Last fall we ate greens every day, rotating between turnips, arugula, collards and Portuguese kale. The kale was my least favorite of the four, and required the longest cooking time. Turnips and collards tied for first, fresh on the table and later from the freezer, too.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:56AM
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glib(5.5)

Thanks. Collards are hard to beat, in nutrients, harvest window, productivity, or shade tolerance.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:27AM
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denninmi(8a)

I don't know if it's really directly comparable to collards. Sort of an apples to oranges situation, or, at least, an eating apple to, say, a cider apple or a cooking apple comparison.

In terms of flavor, the Portuguese kale/cabbage is definitely a milder flavor than collards. But really, the main culinary difference is that, instead of just having a leaf, you get these extremely large, white, tender leaf petioles, which, if you take away the green leaf, are actually most comparable to the stalks/ribs of bok choy or the heart of a tender kohlrabi in terms of flavor and texture. So, its sort of two crops in one.

Now, in terms of productivity, well, once again, I don't think it's directly comparable to collards, because the growth habit is different. Collards keep growing new leaves, at least most kinds do, there are a few rare strains that form a cabbage type head in the center. But, the Couve grows much more like an ornamental cabbage, forming a loose central head surrounded by large, frilly leaves. In fact, that's really what this plant is, kind of an enormous ornamental cabbage on steroids. Some of mine were about 3 feet across. One plant actually yields a LOT of usable product, between the petioles, the large open leaves, and the loose head.

I took a couple of pictures last fall of just the central part of the head as I was preparing to cook with it. These photos were for a cooking board where I was discussing using it in a soup, so they weren't really meant to illustrate from a horticultural standpoint, and won't give the "whole picture".

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:49AM
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bi11me(5b)

According to Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz in "The Food of Spain and Portugal", it is known as couve gallega (Galician Cabbage). David Leite, in "The New Portuguese Table", suggests using collard greens in the United States, saying he finds them more similar in flavor than the kale we normally have available. Penelope Casas, in "The Foods & Wines of Spain" suggests kale, collards, or Swiss chard, for Caldo Galego. All three recommend a very fine chiffonade of the true Portuguese Kale if that's available.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 3:16PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Fedco offers a generic Sea Kale in the Greens section of their catalog.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:11PM
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bi11me(5b)

Sea Kale (Crambe maritima) is a very different beast. Still a brassica, but a perennial that requires blanching to be edible. I've been growing it for about 5 years, and still haven't propagated enough for a commercial crop yet.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 8:55PM
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inespilar

I bought the Portuguese kale seeds distributed by Franchi of Italy. I bought them at Seeds of Italy This would be Galega de Folhas Lisas...which also reminded me of caldo gallego :-) http://www.growitalian.com/kale-galega-de-folhas-lisas-smooth-green-leaf-35-11/

Is this what you are looking for?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 10:40PM
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SoTX(8b/9a)

Tradewinds has seeds. I grow AND eat the tronchuda while the collards just keep getting bigger. I like the milder flavor better.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:05AM
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denninmi(8a)

AinhoaNY wrote: " bought the Portuguese kale seeds distributed by Franchi of Italy. I bought them at Seeds of Italy This would be Galega de Folhas Lisas...which also reminded me of caldo gallego :-) http://www.growitalian.com/kale-galega-de-folhas-lisas-smooth-green-leaf-35-11/";

That actually looks pretty similar to the Italian broccoli 'Spigariello' which is grown for its leaves instead of the heads:

http://www.veggiegardeningtips.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/Leaf-Broccoli-Plant-Photo.jpg

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 9:33AM
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AliceMarieP

We have a small farm in Portugal and have access to all varieties of Portuguese kale and cabbage and can send them abroad if anyone is interested. :-)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:44PM
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