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Other Names

Brassica oleracea

French: chou


Origin: Eastern Europe
Etymology: from old French caboche, “head.”

Anecdote: the Chinese word for cabbage means “soup spoon,” because of its round leaves.

Cruciferae family.
This edible garden plant has wide leaves that grow in a fan shape or at the top of a stalk. Unlike its relative, Swiss chard, its leaves are smoother and the veins more rigid.

Some Varieties

    Green cabbage - Capitata
    From the Italian cappuccio, meaning large head firm head, smooth leaves; dark green to blue green in colour; star of the first frosts.

    White cabbage - Cabus alba Brunswick
    Stonehead very pale green heads; smooth leaves;

    Savoy cabbage - Sabauda
    Curly, crinkly leaves ranging from olive green to dark green; round head.

    The most nutrient dense vegetable you can eat

    Red Cabbage - Rubra
    Smooth leaves, hard head.

    Pyramidal, fractal buds set in spirals, shaped like a peaked cap, pale green in color, deliciously nutty in flavor, sometimes associate with broccoli or cauliflower.

    Brussels Sprouts
    Miniature cabbages that grow in bunches on a rigid central stem.

    Chinese Cabbage - - Po-Tsai
    Also called Tango, Tip-Top, Kido, Monument
    Unlike common head cabbage, Chinese cabbage is paunchy and elongated (it looks like a head of Romaine lettuce, but thicker), with wide thin white ribs around which extend the curly pale green leaves. Can be eaten raw, cooked, sautéed or grated.

    Chinese Chard Cabbage - Bok Choy
    Thick ribs; cooked like chard or spinach.

    Nappa Cabbage
    Very wide ribs; curly leaves grow around the rib.

    This leafy, dark green, waxy plant is a little like a cabbage that doesn’t make a head.

In German, kohlrabi is a “cabbage turnip” referring to the fact that it is in the cabbage family but forms an edible turnip-like bulb just above the soil line.


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