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Cabbage originated in northern Europe from wild cabbage. Cabbages are divide up according to their season or type (semi-hearted, green-hearted, hard-white and red. Spring cabbages are smooth-leaved, loose and small hearted. Green-hearted may have round or conical leaves. Green-hearted cabbages includes the Savoy cabbage, with its dark, crinkly leaves. Hard white cabbages include Dutch cabbage and Winter White cabbage. Spring greens are young cabbages with no hearts.

Savoy cabbages are used a a cooked vegetable and are, also, really good raw, or sliced into salads. Hard white cabbages are used for coleslaw and sauerkraut. Cabbage can be stuffued, made into soups and stews.

Red cabbages are pickled in Britain. In Northern Europe, red cabbage is stewed with apples and spices.

Chinese cabbages include: pak-choi and pe-tsai. Pak-choi has dark green leaves and broad white stalks, like chard. Pe-tsai is the tall, compact and crisp Chinese cabbage. Both pak-choi and pe-tsai are used in Chinese stir-fried dishes, either on their own or with meat.

Cabbage is fermented for winter vegetables - sauerkraut in Europe and kimchi in Korea.

Further Reading

Dowell, P., Bailey, A. (1980) The Book of Ingredients, Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0718119150.