Thursday, January 13, 2011

Is Cabbage Underappreciated?

A recent article in the New York Times praises cabbage as the most unappreciated of vegetables, especially in winter. As a longtime anti-Cabbabrigian (neologisms are fun), I was surprised to hear such high praise for such a humble veggie. However, the article does make some intriguing points about this much maligned mushy greenleaf. Read on to learn more: 

January 11, 2011: Cabbage’s Sweet Side - By ELAINE LOUIE

Chefs praise cabbage. They embrace its sweetness. They delight in its crunch in raw slaws and its melting smoothness in cold-weather braises.

More often than not, their customers do not share this love.

“I personally love cabbage,” said Floyd Cardoz, who was the executive chef of Tabla in Manhattan until it closed last month. He offered lightly caramelized cabbage wedges that had been spiced with cloves, black mustard seeds, shallots, garlic and ginger. Mr. Cardoz brought out the sweetness of the cabbage, and in the plating of it, its beauty. But few people ordered it.

“They have eaten overcooked cabbage so often, they begin to hate the mushiness and the smell,” he said.

Cabbage is often an unloved, homely vegetable. It’s smelly. It’s cheap. It’s the food of the poor. But those who can get past this initial aversion know it as one of winter’s quiet overachievers.

Right now, when green beans are selling for $4 a pound, and baby spinach for $9 a pound, red and green cabbages from local farms can be had for around 75 to 99 cents a pound. The low price is in part a reflection of cabbage’s longevity. It stays fresh in the refrigerator from two to five weeks, and even longer in farmers’ bins.

For more on the benefits of cabbage, click here to read the rest of the article at For a Desipe that involves cabbage, check out the Desipes Tehri recipe, or search any recipe site for 'cabbage.'

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