Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cabbages and Celts

Let's see...I had corned beef and cabbage 3 nights ago, and corned beef sandwiches at a party last night, and corned beef and cabbage and potatoes this morning, and I'll probably have the same for dinner tonight. Too much of a good thing is actually pretty satisfying.

All hail the lowly cabbage! Hated them as a kid, but now I love 'em. The Celts did too.

Wild cabbage, back in the early days, probably resembled collard greens. That prolific plant, through selective planting and breeding, gave birth to today's cabbages, cauliflower, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and kohlrabi.

Brussel sprouts are basically the buds of the plant. Broccoli and cauliflower are the flowers of the plant, inbred to extremes.

When did all this cultivation and manipulation take place? I'm not sure, and so I can't say exactly what sort of cabbage the ancient Gauls enjoyed.

The Aggie-horticulture site points out that the Latin word for cabbage is based on the Celtic word for the plant, bresic, implying that the Celts introduced the Romans to it. The white, hard-headed cabbage grows better in colder climes, so that makes sense. Gaul, Britain, and Ireland were all a lot colder than most of Italy.

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