The varieties of Cabbage
The varieties of cabbage cultivated are numerous and of various different shapes.
The varieties of cabbage available on the international fruit and vegetable market are:
- CAULIFLOWER or CABBAGE CIMONE. It has larger external leaves of a more or less intense green colour sometimes grayish, while the internal leaves are yellowish or light green and often completely cover the edible part.The edible parts of cauliflower are the flower stalks, which can be white, cream or purple: they are surrounded by many green leaves. Usually the edible part is a white-cream, green or purple corymb with a diameter ranging from 12cm to more than 20 cm. The cauliflower has excellent storage qualities: it keeps well in refrigerator for about 5 days. Cauliflower is available from November to early April, but you can find it on the fruit and vegetable marketduring all the year i practice. Cauliflower is one of the most popular cabbages and it is native to the MIddle East and the Mediterranean.
The cauliflower is eaten as a side dish, boiled and dressed with oil and vinegar (or lemon), pickled, baked with white sauce, fried with batter, as a condiment for pasta, or in soups. When it is very tender and fresh, rhw cauliflower is excellent also consumed raw: sliced very thin and combined with other greens in salads. The raw cauliflower is also more digestible and healthy, because it mantains unchanged all its beneficial substances. Among the most famous varieties of cauliflower in the international fruit and vegetable tradethere are:
- CAULIFLOWER ATALAYA F1 : hybrid sterile cauliflower with a good-sized corymb, weighing about 1,000-1,300 grams, very compact, with good resistance. Vigorous plant with a cycle of 90-95 days, suitable for fall harvesting, it has a wrapping foliage that provides an excellent coverage to the corymb. It is very suitable both for the fresh market and for industry.
- CAULIFLOWER CONCEPT F1 : early season white cauliflower, which gets ripe about 90 days after transplantaion. It also fits well with summer producitons in mountain areas.Excellent coverage of the corymb, which is very tight and has a high specific weight.
- CAULIFLOWER KASTOR F1: hybrid suitable for fall harvesting with a cycle of 85-90 days, which is characterized by a high number of leaves that envelop the corymb. They are good-sized, but in the meantime able to maintain an excellent coverage. The plant is vigorous and medium-sized, it is rustic and has high resistance to different environmental conditions.
- CAULIFLOWER SINERGY : early miseason white cauliflower, which is harvested about 90 days after transplantation. It also fits well with summer productions in mountain areas. Excellent coverage of the corymb, which is very tight and has a very high specific weight.
- HEAD CABBAGE. The head cabbage has white, red-green or purple, smooth and crisp leaves, grouped to form a compact ball with a waxy appearance, thanks to the presence of bloom, which makes reainwater slip away. The leaves of the head cabbage can be eaten raw in salads or cooked: from white cabbages sliced into thin stripes, spiced with salt, pepper and spices, cooked and fermented, is made the popular sauerkraut, a typical German side dish made with cabbage. The head cabbage has very good storage qualities: it keeps well in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Among the most famous varieties of head cabbage available in the international fruit and vegetable trade there are:
- CABBAGE CAPE HORN F1: early season variety, part of the group of head cabbages "pointed or tapered".Heads are compact, crisp,solid with short pith.They are remarkably rustic and are very tolerant to extra-ripeness. Capo Horn F1 is considered a benchmark in all varieties of tapered cabbages.
- CABBAGE CHARMANT F1 : head cabbage with a cycle of 60 days, which stands for ealiness and high resistance in the field. Good-looking plant, with an upright position and large, covering leaves. Heads are solid, compact and of a uniform bright green colour.
- CABBAGE RED JEWEL F1: Early season “red” head cabbage. The head, weighting on average about 1.5 kg is round, bright red and very compact. This hybrid should be brought to general attention for its good tolerance to craks and head deformations.
- SAVOY CABBAGE. The savoy cabbage has green, wrinkled leaves with relevant ribs, which form a not very compact head. It is well known for its therapeutic qualities and can be eaten also raw: it is mostly used to prepare soups or to wrap other preparations in its leaves. The savoy cabbage contains a rare active ingredient that protects the stomach lining from damage. The savoy cabbage has very good storage quality: it keeps well in the refrigerator for bout 5 days.
Among the most famous varieties of savoy cabbage available in the international fruit and vegetable trade there are:
- CABBAGE ESTORIL F1: savoy cabbage easy to grow and suitable for early productions: it is harvested in 65-70 days after transplantation. The head is very compact, round and slightly flattened, of uniform size, weighting about 1.2 kg. It has a good resistance to extra-ripening and to pre-flowering. The plant is vigorous, healthy and tolerant to rot.
- SAVOY CABBAGE KING F1: savoy cabbage semi-blistered, appreciated for the good organoleptic qualities and its adaptability to cultivation. This hybrid has a large, compact,high quality "head", well protected by external covering leaves, which facilitate the self-whithening. the plant is very tolerant to cold and to desease, allowing in this way harvesting in late winter.
- KOHLRABI. The kohlrabi is native to south-west Asia and differs from other cabbages because it has a rounded and swollenn, green or purple stem on which there are few lobed leaves bearing a long stalk. It is a variety of cabbage with green or purple, edible and enlarged stem. Its leaves, pale green, are lobed at the bottom of the stem; the part at the bottom of the stem is enlarged and resembles a turnip, of which recalls the taste. the early varieties have a more delicate flavour and can be grown in greenhouses or in open field, if there is no danger of frost. The late varieties, instead, have a longer storage period. Kohlrabi is widespread especially in Germany, but grows well in Sicily. The most known varieties are Vienna kohlrabi and the White express kohlrabi, which as regards the taste, do not show large differencies. The raw kohlrabi can be prepared in salads or, if cut in stripes, can be served with sauces. To prepare it as a vegetable or in soupes, you should steam it or brown it. Stuffed kohlrabi (briefly steam it first) is a very tasty dish. This variety of cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Moreover, kohlrabi can also be bitten like an apple.
- TURNIP TOPS (Brassica rapa subsp. sylvestris var. esculenta; also known as broccoletti). Turnip tops are the green part, not yet flowered of turnips (Brassica campestris variety cymosa). The edible parts of turnip tops are leaves, flowering buds and flowers. They have to be eaten cooked and have a particula flavour, slightly bitterish and piquant. Turnip tops are different from the common turnip for their annual cycle and for taproots that do not swell. Firstly, a rose of smooth green or light green leaves developes, than the flowering buds, thick and slightly open, from which small yellow flowers come out. When completely grown, the plant is from 40 cm to one meter tall.
- BROCCOLI: Broccoli and sprouting broccoli, both commonly called broccoli, are two plants from the cabbage family, whose edible part is formed by still unripe inflorescences. Broccoli have dark green leaves, smaller than those of cauliflowers, with a more compact, round, greenish or violet edible part. The edible part of broccoli is usually open or formed by sprouts of different length. Its diameter rangs from 5 up to 15 cm. They have whitish flowers similar to those of cauliflowers, but far more smaller. Broccoli are usually eaten cooked, boiled or steamed: they keep in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days. Sprouting broccoli are similar to cauliflowers, but they differ for the green-blue colour of their heads and for small lateral buds called broccoletti, formed by small flower clusters.
- ROMAN CAULIFLOWER. It is a variety of cabbages, particular for itf excellent nutritional and aesthetical qualities of its corymb. It is bright green with particular tops, typical of this variety, with a diameter ranging from 10cm up to 20 cm, weighting little more than 1.5 kg.
- BRUSSELS SPROUTS. It seems that these vegetables are native to Italy, and only in a second moment they were brought to Belgium by Romans. Compared to broccoli they contain a larger quantity of vitamin E. The Brussels sprouts, which are small like nuts, have to be compact, hard and bright. They are eaten cooked, boiled or steamed, and have a particular bitter flavour that not everybody likes: this characteristic makes them very suitable to be matched with sweet food, such as chestnuts, chickpeas, fruit sauces. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
- CHINESE CABBAGE. The chinese cabbage is formed by an alongated head and by white or light green, crisp and curling leaves. It is eaten raw or cooked, or browned with other vegetables. You can usually find it in the stuffing of spring rolls served in Chinese restaurants.
- BLACK CABBAGE. The black cabbage is formed by very dark green, alongated and curling leaves. It is used in Italy especially for the traditional dish "ribollita", soup with beans, hard bread and vegetables, among which the black cabbage.
- SEA-KALE CABBAGE The sea-kale is an herbaceous plant known especcially in Italy. The edible part is formed by small foliages that become tender and crisp after particular cultivation techniques.