Cabbage is an edible white/green, and sometimes purple, plant that has many culinary uses. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is the key ingredient in coleslaw and sauerkraut. It is closely related to cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. There are many varieties of cabbage, but the most common is the green cabbage. Cabbage is a good source of Vitamin C and K and contains many other important minerals and trace metals as well. It is also thought to have anti0cancer properties as well. Cabbage is a popular food crop with a complex history. Let’s find out where cabbage comes from and where it is grown today.
Where does cabbage originate from?
The history of cabbage is the subject of much debate and scientists have trouble tracing the exact history of this vegetable. The wild ancestor of the cabbage is known as Brassica oleracea and this if found natively throughout Europe and Britain. The first domestication of the cabbage probably occurred before 1000 BC in Europe, but the exact history may never be known. Cabbage spread throughout Europe and was well known by the Middle Ages. Different varieties continues to be developed and in the 16th century the savoy cabbage (one of the best known varieties) was developed by farmers. Cabbage spread around the world from Europe and it was introduced to the Americas in the 1500′s, Asia as trade increased with Europe and Australia with European settlement.
Where is cabbage grown today?
Today, varieties of cabbage are grown on every continent (apart from Antarctica). Worldwide production in almost 70 million metric tons. The largest producer of cabbage is China with an estimated 31 million metric tons. India is the second largest producer at almost 8 million tons. Other large producers include South Korea, Ukraine, Japan, Indonesia, Poland and Romania. The United States produces about 1 million metric tons per year.
Did you know?
Cabbage has a long history in herbal medicine. In World War I it was used as a cooling treatment for those suffering from trench foot!