Sweet As A Cabbage

cabbageAs a what? As a cabbage! Get the pickle outta yer ear!

I know we usually think of cabbage as either sour or meh. But you have to make it sour, and it’s really a very yummy veg. Has lots of history, too.

Cabbage, botanists believe, is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, and originated in northern Europe, where the cool and moist climate is hospitable to it. It spread to the south and east from there.

The ancient Greeks didn’t seem to care for it, but the Romans considered it a luxury item, leading to its cultivation by Roman farmers. Corned beef and cabbage, which I always considered an Irish dish, was a favorite with the Emperor Claudius.

sauerkraut-198_150Pickled cabbage, a mainstay before refrigeration, canning and quick long-distance transport, was popular wherever cabbage could be grown. Sauerkraut has always been a particular favorite of mine. My mother says that, when I was little and pretending to be a goat, I praised the grass in our yard by saying it was “better than sauerkraut.”

cabbageBroccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, kale and kohlrabi are all kinds of cabbage, though most of us don’t think of them that way. In fact, the head cabbage most of us think of as “cabbage” is probably a mutation or hybridization of a plant more like collards. How weird is that?

A really good fresh cabbage is sweet, in case you don’t know. That may be why a French endearment is, “Mon petit chou,” meaning, “My little cabbage.”

When I fry or boil cabbage that is NOT good and sweet, I cheat by adding a little sugar to it. It makes it surprisingly good. 🙂

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write a scene between a mother and child.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Sweet As A Cabbage

  1. Jane

    March 13, 2013 at 1:31pm

    I am still grateful for your long-ago instruction on how to cook cabbage in a skillet. With butter. And I add Crazy Jane seasoning. Thanks.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 13, 2013 at 2:23pm

      Well, o’ COURSE we gotta use the world’s best seasoned salt! 😀

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Cristina

    March 14, 2013 at 11:19am

    I just recently found out that those veggies you mentioned come from same plant family. It was when the doctor advised my mom to eat Cruciferous vegetables, not knowing what were they, we googled it. By the way, I also love sauerkraut!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 14, 2013 at 12:38pm

      A friend gave me some fresh-made sauerkraut, and it was HEAVENLY! A lot of work, though, so you know I’LL never make it. ha!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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