Where did the Cabbage Come From?

The cabbage is a very ancient plant, and the food plants that have the scended from it inclued many that you would never imagine have anything to do with the cabbage!

Thousands of years ago, the cabbage was a useless plant which grew along the sea coast in different parts of Europe. It had showy yellow flowers and frilled leaves. From this wild parent plant, more than 150 varieties plants have been developed.

The best known kinds are the common cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, broccoli, and kohlrabi. In the common cabbage there is one central bud and the leaves grow close together about it, fold over it, and from a large, solid head.

Red and White cabbages have smooth leaves. Fresh white cabbage is eaten raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable. Kale resembles the wild cabbage, since all the leaves grow to full size and remain separate from one another.

Brussels sprouts combine features of both cabbage and kale. Tiny cabbage and kale. Tiny cabbage-like heads from on the stalk at the bases of the larger leaves, which are full and open. In the cauliflower, it is the delicately flavored flower buds and not the leaves which are eaten.

These buds have developed into a solid mass with a few loose leaves around it. Because cauliflower was difficult to grow, the Italians developed a hardier variety called broccoli. Kohlrabi  has a ball-shaped enlargement of the stem just above the ground, and these enlargements are eaten when young and tender.

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