National Cabbage Day Date in the current year: February 17, 2024

National Cabbage Day National Cabbage Day is celebrated every February 17 in honor of one of the world’s most widely cultivated vegetables that has been used in cuisine since antiquity and is considered a staple food in most of Europe.

Cabbage is one of the many edible cultivars of Brassica oleracea, a plant from the family Brassicaceae that also includes turnip, radish, horseradish, and rapeseed. Other vegetable cultivars of Brassica oleracea include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese broccoli (kai-lan), collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, Romanesco broccoli, and others.

Brassica oleracea in its uncultivated form (wild cabbage) is native to Europe, probably to the Eastern Mediterranean region. It was domesticated during antiquity; in the Roman Empire, cabbage was considered a luxury. However, by the Middle Ages it became a common ingredient in European cuisine, and by the 18th century, cabbage was a staple food in many European countries such as England, Germany, Ireland, and Russia. Dutch, German and Scandinavian sailors ate sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) during long voyages to prevent scurvy.

During the early modern era, cabbage was exported to the New World and Asia. It was brought to the Americas by French explorer Jacques Cartier in the 16th century. By the 18th century, cabbage was planted by both English colonists and Native Americans. Today, the world’s top five producers of cabbage and other brassicas are China (accounting for nearly half of the total production), India, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine.

Cabbage can be green, white (pale green), or red (purple). An average cabbage weighs 1 to 2 lb; the heaviest cabbage recorded in Guinness Book of World Records weighed 138 lb 4 oz. Raw cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber. It also contains B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Cabbage is a common ingredient in many cuisines (especially in northern, central and eastern Europe), featuring prominently in Polish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Romanian, and German cuisine. Certain cabbage dishes are popular in North African and Indian cuisine.

Cabbage can be eaten raw or prepared in various ways: braised, fermented (for example, for sauerkraut or kimchi), steamed, stewed, sautéed, or pickled. Some of the best-known cabbage dishes include bacon and cabbage, bigos (Polish cabbage stew), bubble and squeak, cabbage rolls, cabbage soup, pierogi (filled dumplings) and pirozhki (stuffed buns) with sauerkraut, and coleslaw.

Like with many food-related holidays, the origins of National Cabbage Day are unclear, but you shouldn’t let it stop your from celebrating! There are many ways to observe this amazing vegetable holiday. You can learn more about the health benefits of cabbage, cook your favorite cabbage dish or learn a new recipe, try growing your own cabbage (late February is just the right time to sow summer cabbages), and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalCabbageDay and #CabbageDay.

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National Cabbage Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, food days, food holidays, cabbage