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Cabbage is available all year round, select cabbages that appear freshly cut with no strong odor or yellowing leaves.  Also, the stalk end should be white and moist, not dry and woody, the longer and thicker the stalk the older the plant. Cabbages store very well, ideally the outer leaves should be lightly trimmed and the cabbage heads wrapped tightly in plastic film, waxed paper or even newspaper, to reduce wilting.

The outside leaves will wilt and turn yellow, but the inside will normally keep very well.  In a refrigerator, cabbages will keep for a month or more. Cabbage has very little waste except for the stem and any bruised or yellowed outer leaves.  It can be used as cooked vegetable, shredded for salads or even stuffed and cooked whole.  It is a good source of vitamins, particularly vitamin A and C and contains useful amount of calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

Four varieties of cabbage are generally available:

Drum head or white Dutch cabbage is the most common. 

The red (purple) cabbage differs very little except the color.
Savoy cabbage has looser, wrinkled leaves and a milder flavor  

Chinese cabbage is very fine and mild in flavor. 
Lightly boiled or steamed cabbage makes a simple vegetable dish but elaborate cooking methods include simmering it in milk or braising it gently with onion and sliced apple. Red cabbage when cooked, unless acidified by the addition of a little vinegar or lemon juice will rapidly turn blue.

When microwaving cabbage, it should be washed and shredded, covered with a little water and cooked for 8 minutes. Raw cabbage is often used as the basis for coleslaw, normally the cabbage is finely shredded and combined with other ingredients such as carrot, apple, fresh herbs, pineapple, small seedless grapes and a dressing.  

Cabbage leaves can also be used as wrappers for other food, including meat. Because cabbage is inexpensive, whole leaves can also be used as serving containers for other salads or as background on a serving. 



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