Scientific NameBrassica oleracea (acephala, fimbriata, tronchuda, capitata, bullata, gemmifera) (Brassicaceae/Cruciferae Family)
Varieties and seasons
From the first early plants (planted in open ground in mid-April) until the harvest of the cabbages at the end of November and early December, it is possible to choose from an incredible range of cultivars. Including drumhead cabbages and varieties of kale, which tolerate cold conditions, you can eat fresh cabbage practically throughout the year.
Cabbage is highly popular across Europe. It’s undoubtedly one of the oldest vegetables eaten in Europe, and forms the main ingredient of popular soups and pork hotpots. Still today, it can be found on shelves throughout the year.
China remained the leading producer of cabbage in 2007, followed by India and South Korea (FAO). Then, ranked in terms of production: Indonesia, Poland, Russia, Japan and United-States.
Cabbage is primarily eaten raw and cooked from October to March. The Russians are the highest consumers of cabbage in Europe with 20 kg per capita, compared with the 4 kg in the Netherlands and the 1.9 kg for the Spaniards. In 2006, the belgium consumption of cabbage was 4.7kg per capita.
Nutritional values (per 100 g)
*Ciqual 2013 **Recommended Daily Intake ***USDA
In addition, for vegans (people who do not eat animal products, including milk and cheese) it provides a vital source of calcium, which is easily absorbed by people suffering from nutritional deficiency.
Recently, cabbage was found to contain substances such as indole, isothiocyanates and dithiolthiones which seem to have powerful anti-cancer properties. A large number of experiments performed over twenty years, both on animals and people, have confirmed the beneficial effect of eating cabbage on a regular basis to help the prevention of colon, stomach, lung and oesophagus cancers.
When it comes to portions...?
- a child portion: two leaves
- an adult portion: five leaves
Cooking and nutrition: tasty combinations
- Raw, cabbage is delicious in a crunchy, tangy salad, mixed with one or two Granny-type grated apples, and a little grated raw onion, for those who like a little punch: this refreshing salad is rich in fibre and vitamins, making it an extremely healthy starter, especially for people who have a tendency to put on weight.
- Guineafowl with cabbage is a traditional recipe and a perfect pairing: the cabbage ensures the meat does not dry out, enabling it to remain moist and flavoursome without adding fat (like a slice of bacon). Simmered over a long period of time, the cabbage leaves soften, which are infused with the flavours of the guineafowl.