February 17, 2013

National Cabbage Day


"At middle age the soul should be opening up like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage." - John Andrew Holmes

It's National Cabbage Day!

I have this crazy obsession about food smells. When I was a teenager, I used to pack an extra shirt with me if I went out to eat, because I couldn't stand smelling like the restaurant afterwards (especially if I couldn't immediately go home and shower). It’s a bizarre quirk, I know.

When I moved into my own flat, I became really neurotic about the way it smelled after I cooked. Personally, I can’t stand the lingering scent of sautéed onions or garlic, or fried anything. So, I go out of my way to find the most potent candles that I can to light while I’m cooking so it can overpower/mask the smell of the food.

Cabbage, in particular, is one of the stinkiest post-cooked foods. The last time I made sauerkraut, my apartment smelled like flatulence for days. I was traumatized by that particular experience, and the only cabbage I try to let come into my home now is in cole slaw form (although tonight's deconstructed cabbage rolls were delish and may have swayed me otherwise!).

Most of the rest of the world doesn't feel this way, though. Cabbage is considered the national food of Russia and a beloved vegetable in Ireland (it’s also incredibly important to the Chinese, Korean, and Polish culinary scenes, too). It was brought to the States in the sixteenth century by the French navigator Jacques Cartier. Cabbage, which is related to broccoli, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts, is a great source of amino acids, antioxidants, potassium, and Vitamin K.

It’s also considered an excellent food to eat if you have constipation; just know that it causes - can you guess? - farting as it breaks down everything sitting in your intestines.

Yum.

Happy National Cabbage Day!