Cabbage or headed cabbage (comprising several cultivars of Brassica oleracea) is a leafy green or purple biennial plant, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads.
Cabbage is descended from the wild cabbage, and is closely related to broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and savoy cabbage which are sometimes called cole crops.
Cabbage was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century. By the Middle Ages, cabbage had become a prominent part of European cuisine.
In Roman times cabbage was a relatively expensive vegetable that was widely used in a dish we now know as corned beef and cabbage.
By the 15th century, it was widely cultivated in Europe and came to North America with the early settlers.
Cabbage heads generally range from 0.5 to 4 kilograms (1 to 9 lb), and can be green, purple and white. Smooth-leafed firm-headed green cabbages are the most common, with smooth-leafed red and crinkle-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors seen more rarely. It is a multi-layered vegetable.
Popular green cabbages are:
- Polar Green
- Green Express
- Sunupand Belbro
Red types include:
- Ruby Ball
- Red Acre
- Red Perfection
Mid-season varieties include:
- Green Express
- Shamrock, Super Red
- Prime Time.
Late storage ones include:
In 2014, the top 3 producers of cabbages and other brassicas (in volume) were:
Canada was #32 on the list.
1 serving of cabbage = 1 cup (approximately 89 g)
- contains approximately 25 calories
- good source of Vitamin C
- source of Folacin
BUYING AND STORING
- Look for firm heads that seem relatively heavy for their size.
- Leaves should be fresh and crisp-looking, firmly packed and without blemishes or signs of wilting along the edges.
- To store cabbages for several weeks, refrigerate in a moisture-proof bag.
- Winter cabbages will keep for longer periods if kept moist and cool in a root cellar or similar cold-storage area.
- pickled or fermented for dishes such as sauerkraut and kimchi
- steamed, stewed, sautéed and braised
- eaten raw
- Grated or shredded in a salad
- cooked in a rich cheese sauce
- stuffing the leaves with a savoury meat and herb filling and simmering shredded (cabbage rolls)
- The Greek poet, Homer (who live around 850 BC), mentions Achilles washing cabbages, in his epic poem the ‘Iliad.’
- One cup of shredded raw cabbage contains 190% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
- There are at least a hundred different types of cabbage grown throughout the world
- Wikipedia (October 2017). Cabbage. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/cabbage
- Foodland Ontario. (October 2017) .Cabbage. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/foodland/food/cabbage
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAOSTAT Data. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data
- Tyler Herbst, Sharon. (2001). The New Food Lover’s Companion (3rd ed.). New York: Barron’s Educational Series.