December 17, 2009 § 1 Comment
Mmmm, cabbage. The food of my people. For centuries Norway was a poor country, perched up at the top of the globe – the last stop before the North Pole. If it hadn’t been for cabbage, cod, and rutabagas, (and various uplifting drinks, I’ll admit) Norwegians would never have survived their long, dark winters. (Then they discovered oil in the North Sea, which allowed them to become obnoxiously wealthy…but still loveable, I like to think). Norwegians still eat a lot of cabbage now. I know I, for one, have an affinity for cabbage set deep in my heart. And, in Norway you can actually buy pre-cooked and spiced red or green cabbage in little plastic pouches that you heat and eat. Talk about a culturally specific convenience food!
I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to cabbage, too. You can do a lot of different things with cabbage, and I like most of them (except boiled. Just say “no!” to boiling vegetables, especially cabbage!): coleslaw, sweet and sour, stir-fried, kimchee, sauerkraut, braised…This is great because it’s one of the cheapest veggies you can get throughout the winter, and it stores for a really long time in the refrigerator. Though I love cabbage, I have a sneaky suspicion that there are many people out there who, shall we say, do not harbor quite such fond feelings toward the vegetable. I know that if you really, truly, absolutely detest cabbage, I’m not going to be able to convince you otherwise. But, I would like to think that a lot of the distrust toward cabbage out there is either due to not really giving it a try, or to suboptimal preparation. I mean, otherwise how could you not want to eat a vegetable that looks kind of like a crazy green or purple brain when you cut it in half! I used to do food programs with children, one of which consisted of preparing and sampling cabbage. I would coax the kids to taste it, usually by acting like a total wacko and making up weird names for it like “purple power plant” and “fried green brain.” And, to the shock and amazement of the parents, every child who actually tried the cabbage liked it. I like to flatter (translation: delude) myself that I’ve really enriched some people’s lives as a result. « Read the rest of this entry »