Other names: Swiss Chard, Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach or Mangold
General Information: Chard, along with kale, mustard greens and collard greens, is one of several leafy green vegetables often referred to as "greens". Similar to spinach and beets with a flavor that is bitter, pungent and slightly salty, chard is truly one of the vegetable valedictorians with its exceptionally impressive list of health promoting nutrients.
Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow and red depending on the cultivar. The leaves are generally treated in the same way as spinach and the stems like asparagus. Fresh young chard can also be used raw in salads.
Cultivars of chard include green forms, such as 'Lucullus' and 'Fordhook Giant', as well as red-ribbed forms such as 'Ruby Chard', 'Rainbow Chard', and 'Rhubarb Chard'.
It is commonly known as Swiss Chard, even though it isn't Swiss. It's actually native to the Mediterranean area, but is now cultivated worldwide.
It's thought to have been given the "Swiss" part of its name because the Swiss botanist, Koch, gave it its scientific name in the 1800s.
The ancient Greeks and Romans prized chard for its medicinal properties.
It's an excellent source of iron, vitamin C and magnesium (essential for the absorption of calcium).