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It’s humble, it’s ordinary, it’s delicious in so many ways: cabbage.
With our Germanic background in Waterloo Region — that genre of food we might refer to as “Waterloo County Fare” — we do cabbage very well.
Derived from the Latin word “head” (caput), cabbage has as many as eight delicious members in its family, including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. These cruciferous vegetables are massively flavourful and nutritious with good amounts of vitamins A and C.
Originally a wild plant of the Mediterranean, it appears to have been domesticated 2,500 years ago. Because it can withstand colder temperatures, it has become a staple vegetable of eastern European cooking.
In the photo above, I slowly braised some basic cabbage — it was less than a dollar at the market — added some onions, a few slices of garlic sausage that I had in the fridge and salt and pepper. It was then sautéed to give it a bit of char and garnished with a bit of hot sauce. Simple and delicious.
Locally, a lot of cabbage is grown in and around Waterloo Region — it is also prevalent in local restaurants. One shining example is its use at Two Goblets, newly moved to Ontario Street. On their central European menu, you will find several dishes that feature cabbage. Of course, that includes cabbage rolls with sour cream and a choice of mashed potatoes, spätzle, or French fries.
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