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.
Pickled 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.”
Broccoli, 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.