I realize cabbage isn’t everyone’s favorite vegetable, but there are actually some varieties of cabbage that taste great and are very different from your run of the mill cabbage. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and, as such, it is very healthy to eat. Cruciferous vegetables are high in nutrients, antioxidants, and cancer fighting compounds. As healthy as they are, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage can be very bitter tasting. However, there are varieties of cabbage that are less bitter than others, and you might actually enjoy eating them.
1. Bok Choy
Bok choy is one of the varieties of cabbage that many people like. It doesn’t look like a regular head of cabbage. Instead, it is very leafy with thick white stems. While bok choy is delicious, baby bok choy is especially delicious as it is mild, tender, and slightly sweet when cooked. Bok choy is also very sturdy, so it is great for stir frying or steaming. However you choose to cook bok choy, it will taste delicious. Just be sure not to cook it too long, or you might lose its wonderful flavor.
2. Napa Cabbage
Napa cabbage looks similar to romaine lettuce, and like romaine lettuce it can be used in salads. It is a greenish yellow color, and is very leafy. Napa cabbage is not as tough as regular cabbage, and it is also sweeter, which is why it is great raw.
3. January King Cabbage
January king cabbage is a very pretty cabbage that has bluish green leaves with some purple. It is a hardy winter cabbage that has a mild flavor, and it tastes great roasted. While you probably won't find this cabbage at grocery stores, you can find it at farmer’s markets in the winter.
4. Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage is a hybrid cabbage that was first introduced in the 1850s. It has a cone shaped head, and it is surrounded by green leaves. It has a mild flavor that is really brought out by sautéing.
5. Savoy Cabbage
Savoy cabbage can be found at most large grocery stores. It has a tight head with crinkly leaves, and it is very tender and sweet. Also, unlike regular cabbage, it doesn’t have a sulfur smell when it is cooked. This type of cabbage is excellent raw, but you can also sauté or steam it.
6. Portugal Cabbage
Portugal cabbage is also known as Portuguese kale, and it has thick leaves that are sweeter than regular cabbage. Portugal cabbage doesn’t form a head. Rather, it is has big, tough leaves. Because the leaves are tough, Portugal cabbage is best when it is cooked. It is especially great in soups and stews.
7. Winningstadt Cabbage
Winningstadt cabbage is an heirloom cabbage that you are most likely to find at farmer’s markets. It has a pointed head, and it is a dark blue-green. This is a rare type of cabbage, so it can be difficult to find. However, if you do happen to find it, you should definitely try it because it does taste delicious, especially in salads.
Although cabbage isn’t usually thought of as a tasty vegetable, these varieties of cabbage are actually quite delicious. They also happen to be very healthy, so you should definitely try to include a few of these varieties in your diet. What is your favorite type of cabbage?