The cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) is an edible plant of the family Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae, the cruciform vegetables).
The cabbage head was bred into the species from the leafy wild plant, found in the Mediterranean region around 100 CE. The English name derives from the French caboche (head). Varieties include red cabbage, savoy cabbage, and nappa cabbage (Chinese leaves).
Cabbages are commonly used both cooked and as a salad vegetable. They keep well and were thus a common winter vegetable before refrigeration and long-distance shipping of produce. Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage often used as a condiment or side dish.
Preparation and Cooking
Like all brassicas, cabbage is a potentially smelly vegetable that needs to be handled with care to avoid creating unpleasant lingering odours in the cooking space. There are two ideal ways to cook cabbage — either very quickly (or not at all), or in a slow-cooked flavoursome dish.