17.4.09

Freakish Friday: Cabbages



I was presented with a cabbage that was all too familiar in a Croatian supermarket. The name of the cabbage (not the one in picture) was simply "Chinese Cabbage". Back in London days, I recalled the same vegetable having the same name. So I racked my curious brains and tried to find the name of this vegetable (or cabbage) in a Singapore supermarket. I'm sure it will not be called a Chinese cabbage as we import lots of different vegetables from China. Then I recalled my mum giving me a piece of her mind when I couldn't differentiate the common types of vegetables. So bearing this lesson in mind and hoping not to mislead my readers into believing that every single cabbage from China is called a Chinese cabbage, I spent two days googling in Mandarin for the original name of the cabbage.

On Wikipedia's page, the English edition only included a sentence or two about cabbages from China which is doing injustice to the topic. I did try to find the exact number of cabbages produced in China, but to no avail. But I did find the answer to my question.

The Chinese Cabbage that you probably find in your stores (white stem and light green leaf, longish but rounded at the bottom) is known as "White Cabbage (白菜) ".The other cousin of this cabbage with even longish leaves comes from Tianjin (天津 ,one of the 6th largest city in People's Republic of China). It is sweeter and is best for soups and stews than most cabbages. The common cabbage (whitish head) is known as a "Cabbage (包菜)" for its appearance.

Of course there are plenty more then these 3 varieties. There is a particular cabbage which seems to be unavailable outside of Asia (unless you decide to grow it in your garden) which bears resemblance to the Savoy (featured in the picture) but with less pronounced grooves in the leaves. It can grow to enormous size as seen on a Taiwanese farm. I believe this is the cabbage used primarily in Korea to create the famous Kimchi (fermented cabbage). Thus its chinese name bearing the old name for Korea (高丽). I need to bug my mum about this cabbage as I really can't find conclusive answers on which particular cabbage it should be. I'll let you know once my mum gave me another Cabbage lesson.

So that's all for this Friday's freaky Did-You-Know section, Ur Resident Chef is signing off.. to hunt for more cabbages and enjoying the Flapjacks!

2 comments:

EastCoastLife said...

I love Tianjin cabbage! Great in steam boat and soup.

p.s. - I'll try to find the Bunga Kantan seeds and send to you. I'm trying to grow them too. It would take a longer time to mature using seeds.

SheR. said...

>>ECL!
Yeah!! I love those cabbages too!! So sweet. Yummy.. wish I can find them here.

Hey thanks for the offer! I will wait patiently.. I'm trying to grow chilli and Sng Gah from seeds now. I'm a Plant Mom mah! :)