What is a Cabbage?

Who isn’t familiar with the vegetable cabbage must have lived under a rock.  It’s a very popular vegetable that is included in so many dishes all around the world.

Cabbage has green layers of superimposed vegetable leaves forming a round, compact head.  Typically green in color, the inner leaves are often lighter in color compared to the outer layer.  This is because it has been protected from sun exposure.

It belongs to the Cruciferae family along with the broccoli, Brussel sprouts and kale.  Cabbage is a relative of the mustard greens and the turnip family as well.

This vegetable has two main varieties – early and late.  The early variety matures just a little over 40 days and is characterized by a small, tight head.

The late variety takes a lot longer to reach full maturity – about 90 days.  Only the center section or the head is eaten and it is also much larger.

Cabbage can be served raw or cooked.  When eaten raw, it is sweet and crunchy and goes well with salads.

This biennial, sometimes perennial vegetable can be cooked in a lot of ways, too.  In Europe, cabbage is popular in soups and stews.  In some dishes, the leaves can also be wrapped around meat.

In Korea, it is the main ingredient in kimchi and the base for the famous sauerkraut dish.

Its red and green (sometimes called yellow) varieties are visually appealing, and salads made of both types are definitely aesthetically pleasing.

Aside from being delicious and a flexible vegetable, it is also contains carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.