If mothers' were to give credit for making spinach popular amongst kids the crown would certainly go to Popeye - the sailor man!! This cartoon series infused in children the desire to be strong and intelligent like Popeye. In the process motivating them to consume spinach and become healthy.
Spinach traces its roots to Persia (now Iran). It then travelled to China when gifted by the King of Nepal. Then came the Europeans, in fact for a long time it was called the "Spanish vegetable". A special favourite of a historical figure from Florence till today dishes made with a bed of spinach are called "a la Florentine".
From the botanical perspective
The dark green leaves of the plant are consumed as food. Spinach belongs to the family Chenopodiaceae, the same as beets. The botanists prefer to call it Spinacia oleracea. It grows well in temperate regions. USA and Netherlands are the largest producers of spinach. It has three distinct types: - savoy, smooth-leaf and semi-savoy.