Cabbage - A close relative to broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, that leafy green is the either loved or hated. Domesticated somewhere around 1000 BC, the Middle Ages were the age of the cabbage as a prominent and everyday vegetable. High in vitamin K and C, the cabbage is full of goodness and with a little care can be a super delicious veg. We think of it as a European vegetable-boiled and limp and with hardly any taste at all. The smell of cooking cabbage was not one that many enjoy and we all can appreciate a well-boiled cabbage is not a pleasant odour!
But the Koreans love a good cabbage and eat it both raw to aid digestion and pickle it to create fiery kimchi. Japanese enjoy it very finely shredded alongside katsu and the Chinese, of course, have a huge number of other cabbage varieties also more closely related to broccoli which are cooked very lightly to retain that crunch and nutritional value.
One thing we do know is that Genghis Khan was responsible for the introduction of pickled cabbage that he learnt from invading China. Food that could be carried great distances and would not spoil naturally has great value so made its way all over the globe by adventurers and voyagers. James Cook had pickled cabbage on board as part of the regular diet to prevent scurvy.
It is the amazing power of bugs that makes the pickling process so important and useful. The fermentation process creates the bacteria that gives the stomach the right bugs it needs to be healthy and vibrant and increases the nutrient value that the cabbage already has.
We stock some beautiful sauerkraut –locally made and imported classic sauerkraut from Germany. Our local brand Be Nourished is a perfect example of how good pickled cabbage can be! Raw, unpasteurized cultured vegetables, Be Nourished provides amazing varieties of Sauerkraut and other lacto fermented cultured vegetables. These superfoods are teaming with live organisms and essential enzymes that aid digestion and repopulate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria and are not just good for you but taste incredible.
A fan of fermentation Joanna Nolan wanted to give her kids a great healthy balanced diet and that meant reading up on how she’d do that. After a lot of research she found fermentation was the key and that naturally lead to much kitchen experimentation and many friends asking for her jars of friendly pickles. Joanna started Be Nourished to share her passion for fermentation. Her vegetables are all organic and local and her pickles are stunning-crunchy, bright and so very good for you.