Cab­bages belong to the Bras­sica fam­ily of cole crops and are closely related to broc­coli, cau­li­flower and Brus­sels sprouts.

This cru­cif­er­ous veg­etable is widely used around the world in prepa­ra­tions from raw to cooked, shred­ded to leafy rolls.

While we most likely think of a com­mon cab­bage head as that large, green can­non­ball type, there are other vari­eties that make spe­cific appli­ca­tions and recipes stand out.

Red Cab­bage – Sim­i­lar to green cab­bage, this has dark reddish-​purple leaves. The fla­vor is a lit­tle deeper and earth­ier. Pick heads that are tight and heavy for their size. It adds great color to slaws and cold sal­ads.

Napa Cab­bage – Also called Chi­nese cab­bage, this oblong-​shaped cab­bage has wide, thick, crisp stems and frilly yellow-​green leaves. The fla­vor is sweeter and milder com­pared to heartier green cab­bage. Its soft tex­ture works great as a fill­ing for dumplings or as a del­i­cate fresh salad com­po­nent.

Savoy Cab­bage – This attrac­tive cab­bage is round in shape but the leaves are deep green and crin­kled. The fla­vor is mild and earthy. The leaves are ten­der even when eaten raw. Heads should be com­pact and tight and will yield to light pres­sure due to the crin­kled leaves. Soups, sal­ads and stir fry dishes are all good savoy cab­bage methods.

Bok Choy – A sta­ple of Asian cui­sine, bok choy is a very close cousin to cab­bage, (also known as Chi­nese cab­bage or white cab­bage in some cases). A sweet, pep­pery fla­vor, bok choy has stark white stems with con­trast­ing green, leafy tops. Per­fect for soups, sautés and even eaten raw.

Choy Sum – Sim­i­lar to bok choy, this cab­bage is actu­ally longer and more slen­der in shape. The leaves are ten­der enough to eat raw, but the sharper tast­ing stems are best cooked in Asian-​influenced dishes.
A mod­est veg­etable in terms of the com­par­a­tive low cost and year round avail­abil­ity, ver­sa­til­ity and nutri­tional ben­e­fits are attrib­utes of cab­bages.

Ancient wis­dom cred­its cab­bage for pre­vent­ing or cur­ing every­thing from bald­ness and acne to gout and scurvy. Undoubt­edly a true per­former, the Greeks and Romans were on to some­thing good.
Detox­ing the body and boost­ing brain power comes easy for those putting cab­bage on the menu. An agent of health and beauty, change the cab­bage rou­tine by includ­ing all types in all ways. Pickle, raw, sauté, braise, boil, or stir fry– join the cab­bage head club.


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