The cabbage is a plant of the Family Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae). It is herbaceous, biennial, and a dicotyledonous flowering plant with leaves forming a characteristic compact cluster.
The cabbage is derived from a leafy wild mustard plant, native to the Mediterranean region. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans; Cato the Elder praised this vegetable for its medicinal properties, declaring that "it is first of all the vegetables".
Cabbage is a longstanding dietary staple throughout the world and is so widely cultivated and stores so well that it is available throughout the year. However, it is at its best during the late fall and winter months when it is in season.
Cabbage is available all year. There are three main varieties of cabbage: red, green and savory, which has crinkly leaves.
Avoid cabbage with worm holes. Smell the core for sweetness. Green and red cabbage should have firm tight leaves with good color. Cabbage should be refrigerated in plastic bags and used within 7 to 14 days.
While raw cabbage can be eaten in hand, for most uses it is sliced into thin strips or shredded into salads or chopped, as in coleslaw. Crispy and more nutritious, it is also an excellent replacement for iceberg lettuce in many kinds of sandwiches.
Present research shows that one half head of cabbage a day may help to prevent certain types of cancer. The chemical indole may prove to prevent breast cancer.
Cabbage odors can be contained if you place a piece of bread on top of the cabbage when cooking in a covered pot.
When you need cabbage leaves for stuffed cabbage, try freezing the whole cabbage first, then let it thaw, and the leaves will come apart easier.
To keep red cabbage red, try adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to the cooking water.
Baseball legend Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his baseball to keep cool during games. He changed the moist leaf ever two innings.
Did you know?
- The word cabbage is slang for money.
- Cabbagehead is slang for idiot.
- Cabbaging means stealing or pilfering.
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