Cabbage is one of those things that goes in and out of favor. In this country I suspect there were periods when we didn’t want to eat cabbage because it is “poor” food. Exactly. That’s one of the things that makes it extraordinary. Wherever you come from, whatever variety you grow, it can fill you up. If more of us ate it and ate more of it, there might be more food for others.
And it’s good for us. Another sturdy vegetable that can deliver health-giving properties all year long. It’s back in vogue at the moment, fermented foods are surging in popularity. What ferments better than cabbage. Although cabbage is one of those places that I surprise myself with my limitations. I don’t think i want kraut with jalepeno nor do i particularly want it with eggs for breakfast.
It grows well in cold climates, and it stores well, so, people eat it in soups and stews all year long. Certainly borscht, that wonderful adventure in beets, owes almost as much to cabbage as to beets. Apparently there are some versions that grow well in tropical climates as well… It’s got a long growing season wherever it lives and will keep delivering bounty and vitamins and minerals to your door. Hooray for cabbage!
Around here, you eat cabbage with onions and noodles and call it tasty. My mother used to sauté it with onion and apples when we were having pork or sausage. I like it in stir fries, I’ve eaten, and am not sure I’m in love with kim chee. But it’s a great vegetable.
And I love the silly references to finding babies under cabbage leaves (those that aren’t left under the gooseberry bushes or brought by storks.). It didn’t teach great physiology, but it’s sweet. There’s a painting from 1820 of a “maiden” discovering a baby under a cabbage leaf you can see here. This was early in Queen Victoria’s reign (like year 2). Good to know she didn’t invent prudishness, she merely popularized it. That Mother Nature doesn’t merely feed you, she brings you babies!
But here’s today’s paean to good and responsible eating: the cabbage! Cabbages for Peace, across cultures and socio-economic divides.