Spinach was originated in Ancient Persia. Today a wide variety of spinach is grown and cultivated all across the world. It has also been called the ‘chieftain of leafy greens’ by the great Arab Agronomist Ibn-Al-Awwam. Spinach is a wild edible green that is not only popular but also delicious and full of nutrients. After Persia, it was introduced into India and later to China around the year 647, where it became known as the Persian vegetable.
The spinach varieties can be divided into three categories, Savoy spinach, Semi Savoy spinach, and smooth or flat-leaved spinach.
1. Savoy Spinach
It is a rich source of vitamin C, folate, and beta carotenes. The leaves of this kind are between 5 to 6 inches long and are wrinkly and curly with a crunchy and crispy texture.
It is an ideal food for those trying to lose weight as it is very low in calories. It can be cooked with meat, onions, cheese, and garlic. It thrives well in a cool climate and grows in the Californian coastal areas.
The Savoy spinach is also divided further into various types.
The Regiment spinach has thick broad leaves and is cultivated in the spring and fall seasons. It is served raw, sauteed, or with sups and kinds of pasta.
Bloomsdale spinach is supposed to be the famous Popey the Sailor used to eat for strength and power. It is an old variety of spinach with curly long and dark green leaves and is usually sown in the spring in sunny areas.
Palco is also a type of Savoy spinach. The leaves of the Palco spinach are dark green, round, curled, and cupped. They can grow in both low and high temperatures.
The round and curly green leaves of the hammerhead spinach are delicious and rich in fiber. These are used in salads and are also a kind of savoy spinach.
2. Semi-Savoy Spinach
As compared to savoy spinach, the semi-savoy spinach is much easier to clean as it is less crinkled.
Super savoy spinach is extremely nutritious and is full of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C, and E. In addition, it also contains omega 3 fatty acids and beta carotene.
Again the semi savoy spinach variety can be further divided into various types;
Tyee has a delicious flavor, both cooked or when eaten raw. The leaves are dark green in color, thick, and not as crumbly.
it is a superior type of semi-savoy spinach with bright green leaves which taste really well in salads. This variety is also called baby leaf spinach.
A fast-growing plant that has tender dark green leaves. It too is healthy to eat and contains B complex vitamins and vitamins A and C.
It grows easily in the cooler spring and fall season. The leaves grow to 10 to 12 inches in length and are crisp, and their color is dark green.
This type is also a semi savoy kind. The leaves of Carmel spinach are dark green and attractive.
Another type of semi-savoy spinach has long stems and deep green leaves.
Some other kinds of semi savoy spinach are
3. Smooth or Flat-leaf spinach
The broad and flat green leaves of this variety are the easiest to clean among all spinach. Easily grown and stored for long periods of time, the smooth leaf spinach is good for health in several ways. It lowers hypertension, maintains healthy bones, promotes weight loss, relaxes muscles, boosts the immune system, and prevents heart diseases.
There are two main kinds of flat-leaf spinach, the Space spinach, and the Red Cardinal spinach. The latter has red stems and red veins in its leaves. It goes well in salads.
Other less known varieties of smooth or flat-leafed spinach are;
This flat-leafed spinach is easy to bunch because of its long stems. The leaves are round or a little oval in shape and are dark green.
This is another type of smooth leafed spinach. They, too, have oval, upright leaves of dark green color.
Red Kitten Spinach
Red Kitten spinach has dark red veins in the leaves, which are straight and smooth.
This type of spinach has a kind of sharp arrow tip and is categorized as flat-leafed spinach.
Two other kinds of flat-leafed spinach are the Seaside spinach and the Woodpecker Spinach.
There are some more varieties of spinach that we would like to mention;
New Zealand Spinach
Depending on where it is grown and cultivated, it has many names like for example, it is called Cooks Cabbage, Botany Bay Spinach, and Kokihi. The flavor and texture of this spinach are the same as other types of spinach and can be cooked in many ways.
In English, the Malabar spinach is known as Vietnamese spinach. In China, it has five different names! The different geographical locations in which it is grown and harvested have resulted in it having these different names. However, its origins can be traced to tropical Asia, which could either be Indonesia or India.
It comes in 2 varieties, the Basella Alba, which has leaves that are green and thick-stemmed. And then there is the Basella Ruba, which has red stems.
There are so many different types of spinach, each with its own unique characteristics and nuances. You can eat spinach in dozen of different ways, cooked or raw. We hope our article has taught you more about this usual and everyday vegetable.
After finding out about the many different kinds of spinach available globally, we hope you go out and try some of the more uncommon types! You might fall in love with a particular variety of spinach that you may have never even heard of before.