You are on page 1of 1

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea or variants) is a leafy green or purple biennial plan t, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its

dense-leaved heads. Closely related to other cole crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, it de scends from B. oleracea var. oleracea, a wild field cabbage. Cabbage heads gener ally range from 0.5 to 4 kilograms (1 to 9 lb), and can be green, purple and whi te. Smooth-leafed firm-headed green cabbages are the most common, with smooth-le afed red and crinkle-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors seen more rarely. It i s a multi-layered vegetable. Under conditions of long sunlit days such as are fo und at high northern latitudes in summer, cabbages can grow much larger. Some re cords are discussed at the end of the history section. It is difficult to trace the exact history of cabbage, but it was most likely do mesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not develope d until the 16th century. By the Middle Ages, it had become a prominent part of European cuisine. Cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of th e plants' life cycles, but those intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year, and must be kept separated from other cole crops to prevent cross-pollinat ion. Cabbage is prone to several nutrient deficiencies, as well as multiple pest s, bacteria and fungal diseases. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that w orld production of cabbage and other brassicas for 2011 was almost 69 million me tric tons (68 million long tons; 75 million short tons). Almost half of these cr ops were grown in China, where Chinese cabbage is the most popular Brassica vege table. Cabbages are prepared in many different ways for eating. They can be pick led, fermented for dishes such as sauerkraut, steamed, stewed, sauted, braised, o r eaten raw. Cabbage is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C and dietary fiber. Contaminated cabbage has been linked to cases of food-borne illness in humans.