Cabbage comes in a variety of colors, the most popular of which is green. Cabbage, a Brassica oleracea vegetable, is a very nutritious green leafy vegetable. Savoy cabbage, Napa Cabbage, kale, and Bok Choy are some of the most popular types of cabbage.
Red and white cabbage are the most popular varieties of cabbages, followed by green. This vegetable is connected to cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts because cabbage belongs to the Brassica genus of plants. As a result, cabbage is classified as a cruciferous vegetable.
Cabbage comes in a variety of shapes and flavors, each with its own character. Smooth leathery leaves are found in certain cabbage cultivars, whereas crinkly leaves are found in others. Regular cabbage has a crunchy texture and peppery flavor, whereas Napa cabbage has a light subtle taste.
Cabbage is a fat-free, nutritious kind of vegetable that may be eaten raw or prepared. You normally remove the white portion of the stem when preparing cabbages to eat raw, steamed, or braised. This has a disagreeable flavor and is difficult to swallow at times.
Common Types of Cabbage (With Pictures and Names)
Let’s take a closer look at the many types of cabbage available in your local supermarket or farmers’ market.
Green cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is the most popular variety of cabbage, and it comes in a variety of colors. The densely packed thick leaves of the huge circular cabbage head. The cabbage head’s outer leaves, which fade to light green or white as they approach the heart, are normally medium to light green. From 1 lb. to 4 lbs., green cabbages may be found. 0.5 to 4 kg (9 lbs).
Green cabbage can be sliced, steamed, sautéed, or braised. The primary ingredient in coleslaw recipes is green cabbages, which are usually consumed raw.
Green cabbage has a peppery flavor when eaten raw. Cabbage, on the other hand, has a sweet flavor with less spice when cooked. Fermenting cabbage produces sauerkraut, which is another way to eat it.
The following are some of the most popular green cabbage types:
- Cabbage cultivars are divided into two groups: compact and solid, according to Danish cabbage.
- The heads of this kind of cabbage are looser and the leaves are curled, making it a domestic cabbage.
- Little, conical heads with softer, more open leaves characterize pointed cabbage.
Danish Ballhead Cabbage
Some of the most popular green cabbage cultivars include varieties of Danish cabbages like Danish Ballhead. A huge green leafy cabbage variety from Denmark is the Ballhead cabbage.
The leaves of the cabbage are a blueish-green color and are crisp, tender, and densely packed. A big spherical cabbage head, ranging from 7 to 10 pounds (3 to 4.5 kg), is made by the leathery leaves. Danish cabbage types are late-fall cabbages that store well throughout the winter, much like green cabbage.
This is a good variety of cabbage for sauerkraut or delicious slaw because of its crisp leaves.
Cannonball cabbages have little, solid heads and delicious sweet leaves, and are a popular green cabbage cultivar. Cannonball cabbages have a tightly packed little head, as their name implies. Cannonball cabbages are sometimes referred to as gigantic Brussels sprouts because of their emerald hue and form.
This is a excellent choicfor shredding because the green leaves that make up the head are so densely packed. Coleslaw, sauerkraut, or additions to soups and stews may then be made using the shredded cabbage.
Gonzales is a spicy-flavored, firm-textured little green cabbage that is similar to other types of small, compact green cabbages. The green outer leaves are tightly packed, and the pale green and white leaves are densely packed, as with other green cabbages.
Gonzales cabbages have a peppery flavor that adds crunch to coleslaw and salads, as well as a good, firm taste. You’ll need a location with lots of sunlight to cultivate this kind of cabbage in your garden. This cabbage is also cold hardy and thrives under a variety of conditions.
Green cabbage with wrinkly leaves, the Savoy cabbage is a kind of cabbage. Green cabbage with crinkly blueish-green leaves (sabauda L.) Because of its milder flavor and tender leaves, Savoy cabbage is preferred over regular cabbage by many people. In comparison to ordinary green cabbages, savoy cabbages are often smaller. Even after cooking, they slice well and maintain their consistency and hue. For using in salads or adding to stir-fries, this is the ultimate cabbage.
The loosely packed leaves that form a small round head are one distinction between Savoy cabbages and regular cabbage. Savoy cabbages are fiber-rich, vitamin- and mineral-rich, similar to other cabbage types. Late-fall cabbage varieties, such as Savoy, are suitable for growing in chilly climates. You should make sure that they get plenty of sunlight while growing for optimal results.
The sweeter, less bitter flavor of the Savoy Express cabbage is comparable to that of other cabbages. Light green leaves with a white center characterize this cultivar. Between 1 and 1.5 pounds (0.45 – 0.6 kg) are the mini Savoy heads. The ‘Savoy King,’ ‘Winter King,’ and ‘Tundra’ cultivars are two more popular Savoy types.
The leaves of red cabbage plants range in color from deep red to dark purple, and there are several cultivars. Since they include antioxidants called anthocyanins, red cabbages might be among the healthiest cabbages.
Many fruits get their red or black color from these naturally occurring red and purple pigments, which help protect cardiovascular health. The cabbage has an intriguing marbling appearance due to the white sections of its leaves.
Tightly packed purple leaves are exposed by cutting through a red cabbage head. The cabbage has an nice marbling effect thanks to the white sections of its leaves. Red cabbage is a popular ingredient in coleslaw and salads because of its color, flavor, and crunchy texture.
You may also serve red cabbage as a side dish at various occasions. The following are some of the most popular red cabbage cultivars:
- The ‘Red Express’ has a head that weighs between 2 and 4 pounds (1.8 kg).
- Ruby Ball, which weighs 3 to 4 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kg) and is ready for harvest in the late fall, is common.
- A excellent crisp cabbage cultivar with dark purple leaves is the ‘Red Drumhead’ cabbage. Pickling, braising, and making coleslaw are all great options.
White (Dutch) Cabbage
White cabbages are really a kind of green cabbage that can have extremely pale-colored leaves. They are not really white, but rather have extremely light-colored leaves. The outer leaves become pale green, and the center is left with tightly packed white leaves. Storing cabbages over the winter also accounts for why some of them look white.
Chlorophyll breaks down and the leaves lose their pale green color when cabbages are kept in dark cool storage places. A red cabbage is also available in Germany. Parel cabbage, a tiny sort of green cabbage, is a Dutch hybrid.
Another Brassica oleracea cabbage cultivar that matures in the mid-summer is the Parel cabbage. Parel cabbages are a white-colored inner part and green exterior leaves. They are a tiny cabbage variety. The cabbage leaves are juicy and tender, forming little dense heads of this white/green color.
The heads average 1.7 to 3.3 pounds (0.8 to 1.5 kilograms) in weight. Parel cabbage is a good choice for pickling or salads because of its firm texture, which allows it to slice and shred well. The fact that it is a hardy vegetable is one of the reasons why this Dutch hybrid is so popular to grow in the garden. Cabbage is resistant to disease and pests, and it can tolerate the cold.
Napa Cabbage (Chinese Cabbage)
Napa cabbage (Brassica rapa ‘pekinensis’) is a Chinese cabbage with an oblong shape that originated in Napa Valley, California. The leaves of these Chinese cabbage types are light green and yellow, with a firm white crunchy stalk. In Japanese, the word ‘napa’ means vegetable leaves. In most nations, this cabbage is referred to as “Chinese cabbage,” “wombok,” or “petsai.” The oblong-shaped Napa Cabbage heads may weigh between 2 and 6.5 pounds (1 and 3 kg).
Napa cabbages have a delicate flavor and soft green leaves, making them a popular salad cabbage. Even though the stem is white, it isn’t difficult to chop and eat raw in a salad. Napa cabbages have a flat head, unlike ordinary cabbages. Instead, the head is a densely packed stack of leaves that may grow to be 18 inches (45 cm) tall. Chinese cabbage resembles romaine lettuce in appearance but is distinguished by its Swiss chard-like leaves.
Bok choy (Brassica rapa chinensis) is another sort of Chinese cabbage with loose green leaves. The cruciferous family of leafy green vegetables includes bok choy (also known as pak choi). Bok choy doesn’t form a head like Napa Chinese cabbage does. Its dark green leaves grow from a white bulb-shaped base. Crinkly green leaves and a crunchy white stem characterize ordinary Bok choy. For stir-fries, this variety of Chinese cabbage is ideal.
Bok choy (Shanghai Bok choy) that is not as crisp becomes soft and mushy when cooked for too long. In comparison to standard Bok choy, this variety is typically less expensive and more widely accessible. Bok choy is a rich source of minerals and vitamins, much like other cabbage varieties. Vitamin A, C, and K are all present in abundance in the leaves, as well as vitamin B6.
Kale (Leaf Cabbage)
Kale is a kind of cabbage that has leaves, and it is also known as “leaf cabbage.” Kale is one of the healthiest types of cabbage, and it belongs to the Brassica genus. Kale does not form a cabbage head, unlike other common cabbage types. A central stem with dark green crinkled leaves fan out. Several varieties of kale are known as ‘curly kale’ because of the way their leaves are arranged.
Raw kale leaves might be difficult to swallow. To retain all of kale’s nutrients, it is best to quickly blanch the leaves. Kale is classified as a healthy superfood for a reason: it is so good for you. Vitamins A, C, and K are all present in a cup of chopped kale, for example. Kale comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, just like cabbage does.
Curly kale, rough leaf-kale, plain leaf-kale, and leaf and spear kale are examples of varieties available. Kale varieties range in color from dark green through purple and blueish-green.
Kale varieties with pink, white, lavender, or blue flowers are also available as ornamental varieties. Kale varieties are also cabbages, and they’re eaten. Unfortunately, since they are not particularly delicious, people do not consume them.
Tuscan cabbage (Lacinato kale) is a variety of dark green black-leafed kales that is sometimes referred to as ‘cavolo nero’ or ‘black cabbage.’ The leaves may grow to be up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) tall. The Tuscan cabbage plant is said to resemble palm tree leaves in the form of some individuals.
Long thin crinkly leaves characterize this black cabbage variety. In reality, the leaves are deeper in color. It does, however, become virtually black when prepared in the “Tuscany fashion.” Tuscan cabbage becomes silky and glossy after being cooked. The cooked cavolo nero has a bit of a bitter flavor that may complement certain meals.
January King Cabbage
Due to its unusual green and purple coloring, the January King cabbage is a Brassica cultivar that is one of the more unusual. The leaves of the January King cabbage are shaped like those of a white cabbage and have the feel of a savoy cabbage.
Green colored leaves at the base of the Brassica oleracea sabauda (January King) change to dark purple or red color at the top. The cabbage heads are tiny to medium in size and weigh between 3 and 5 pounds (1.4 and 2.3 kilograms).
Cook it like a savoy cabbage to enjoy this delicious kind of cabbage. To add some color to a dish, you may use this in lieu of Savoy cabbage. Roasting sliced or shredded cabbage leaves in butter is another January King cabbage cooking tip.
Portuguese cabbage is a green cabbage cultivar with large oval-shaped leaves, white veins, and a robust stem that grows like kale. In the same way that kale doesn’t develop a cabbage head, this Portuguese cabbage variety develops. The thick white stem’s base is usually left intact. Nevertheless, cooking makes use of all other portions of the leave. Portuguese cabbage is more succulent and has a sweeter flavor than kale.
Portugal cabbage’s thick, hardy leaves are perfect for soup and stews. This Brassica cultivar is a significant source of vitamins and nutrients, as are other types of cabbage. One of the few cabbage varieties that can grow in both hot and cold climates is Portugal cabbage.
How to Choose the Best Type of Cabbage
There are a few ways to tell if a cabbage is good when you’re shopping for one. The cabbage head should be firm, with just a few loose leaves surrounding it. The outer leaves should be solid, not floppy at all.
Remember that the head of Savoy cabbages feels looser than that of ordinary cabbages because the leaves are less densely packed. Early harvested cabbages will be a light green color in the summer and fall, while green cabbages in the winter and early spring will be pale green.