Curly kale – most common type available; bright green leaves are tightly ruffled and stem is fibrous. Flavor is peppery, and can sometimes become quite bitter.
Lacinato kale (dinosaur kale) – dark mottled green leaves are long, flat, puckered spears with firm texture and tough stems. Flavor is earthy, slightly sweet and nutty. It is less bitter than curly kale.
Russian red kale – red-tinged green leaves are flat and resemble oak leaves. Thick, reddish-purple stems are very fibrous and generally not eaten. Flavor is sweet and delicate with a hint of lemon and pepper.
Baby kale – any type harvested very young while the stems are thin and the leaves are tender; tends to be less bitter and fibrous.