September 23rd, 2015
Mon Petit Chou
Cabbage has virtually no fat. Per 100 g of shredded raw cabbage, you’ll see only 0.1g of fat but 103kJ of energy. Like many of it’s brassica cousins cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse. Ridiculously high in vitamins K, C, B6 and folate, cabbage also has been proven to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-disease properties.Quietly overseeing history
Cabbage has an extensive and pervasive history. It is one of the oldest recorded veggies and is a dietary staple across cultures. In fact, cabbage is also as diverse as it is expansive. There are at least 100 different varieties of cabbage grown worldwide and it is commonly used in herbal medicine.
Cabbages, though often a staple of the poor because they produce such a large quantity of edible vegetable per acre, they were also prominent on the tables of Roman senators, Greek poets and Kings of the Middle Ages. Cabbage dishes like sauerkraut were used by Dutch, Scandinavian and German sailors to stave off scurvy during long voyages and in the “new world” cabbage was cultivated both by colonists and native tribes.
RIVERBEND CABBAGE VARIETIES!
With such a rich history of Ukrainian settlers in the Edmonton area, you can understand why cabbage is one of Riverbend’s highest demand veggies. I mean, think of all those tasty, cabbage-based, eastern European dishes that we take for granted!
At Riverbend this year we’ve grown 6 different varieties of cabbage and all of them have their own particular personalities. Below, we’ll talk about 5 of our 6 varieties. Lennox, not pictured, is similar in style to Castello but matures later in the season.
Castello is characterized by its stellar, green, tight cabbage head. It’s crisp and sweet and is usually our earliest cabbage variety. It’s crispness makes it ideal for recipes that call for shredded cabbage, like sauerkraut.
Wait a second, you say, sauerkraut seems like a complicated dish and I’m a newbie when it comes to preserving foods.
Trust us, sauerkraut is by far the easiest and simplest veggie preservation you can imagine. All you need is some cabbage and some salt. No lie.
If you try anything with cabbage this year, try making sauerkraut. You will not only impress and amaze yourself, but you’ll have a jar of tasty, tasty sauerkraut to accompany all your winter comfort foods.
*Tip: making sauerkraut means a lot of massaging salt into the shredded cabbage. Do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt to make sauerkraut with your bare hands if you have any kind of cuts on them. You will immediately regret this.
Rona Red cabbage has beautiful thick leaves and a deep, rich colour. It stores incredibly well (which means you can keep this veggie in your crisper for weeks before it begins to soften). Red cabbage is incredibly versatile and will brighten up any meal. It’s easy to prepare and when you’re cooking cabbage in water, add a little vinegar to the broth to help it keep its beautiful colour.
Pickled, braised, raw, slow-cooked or fried red cabbage is tasty and compliments both sweet and savoury dishes.
Known lovingly by our customers as everything from pointed cabbage to cone head to arrowhead to torpedo boob, Caraflex is as tasty as it is distinctive. By far our sweetest and mildest variety, it is perfect for fresh tasting slaws and salads or savoury roasting.
You can’t mistake Savoy cabbage for anything else. It’s textured leaves give it a distinctive and delicate look. A far cry from it’s “rubbery” leaved siblings, Savoy is a very tender cabbage great creamed with carrots, sautéed with onions, in stand-alone side dishes and as a bed for other dishes (fish, rice, etc).
We get asked a lot of questions about OS Cross. The long and the short of it is, no, we don’t sit on the cabbages or “make” them grow flat. They take on this unusual and beautiful shape all on their own. These guys are the perfect cabbage for making cabbage rolls since they produce such big, flat, leaves. This cabbage also tends to produce monster size produce with some of the heads reaching almost 2ft wide. You’ll be happy to know that we price our cabbage at market by the head not by size or weight so you can really get a serious bang for your buck when it comes to OS Cross.
If you’re not up to the rigours of all that is required to make your own “tastes like Baba’s” cabbage rolls, try something a little easier and enjoy all the flavour with half the effort: lazy cabbage roll casserole.
A little more humble cabbage bragging…
- The heaviest green cabbage ever recorded was grown in Alaska in 2012, weighing 138.25lbs.
- The longest cabbage roll measured 15.37meters. While the largest dish of cabbage rolls made in Macedonia in 2008 contained 80,191 rolls weighing in at a total of 1,221lbs.
- Cabbage plants have a taproot that usually grown 8-12inches deep while some variety’s lateral roots can reach a depth of 6.6ft!
- Cabbage is great for the digestive tract and is used to mitigate everything from intestinal ulcers to sore throats.
- While China is the largest producer of cabbage (32.8million tons), Russia is the largest consumer at roughly 44lbs per person each year which is about 7x more than the average North American.
- Flavonoids give cabbage it’s colour and the flavonoid in red cabbage (anthocyanin) can also be found in blueberries and flower petals.
- Red cabbage can also be used as an acid/base indicator. Try it yourself… make cabbage juice and see if it changes colour when you add other liquids to it!
- Prince Philip’s nickname for Queen Elizabeth is… “Cabbage”.