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203 × 127 × 14 mm
144 pages
50 illustrations, 42 in colour
13 Aug 2018

Cabbage A Global History Meg Muckenhoupt

How could a vegetable be so beloved, so universal, and at the same time so disdained? One of the oldest crops in the world, cabbage has provided European and Asian peoples with vitamins A and C, and even with babies – according to folk tales about infants found ‘under a cabbage leaf’, that is. It has appeared in senators’ speeches in ancient Rome and the luggage of South Korean astronauts. Cabbage is both a badge of poverty and an emblem of national pride; a food derided as cheap, common and crass, and an essential ingredient in iconic dishes from sauerkraut to kimchi. Cabbage is easy to grow because it contains sulphurous compounds that repel insect pests in the wild – and human diners indoors who smell its distinctive aroma. We can’t live without cabbage, but we don’t want to stand downwind of it.
In this lively book, Meg Muckenhoupt traces cabbage’s culinary paradox, exploring the cultural and chemical basis for its smelly reputation and enduring popularity. Filled with fascinating facts and recipes for everything from French cabbage soup to sauerkraut chocolate cake, Cabbage is essential reading for both food lovers and historians around the globe.

‘This compact book explores the history of the cabbage and its place as an iconic ingredient on the world’s culinary stage’ — Gardens Illustrated

‘Cabbage consumption is declining in many countries, but globalisation may help to keep cabbage on the menu, with dishes such as kimchi becoming popular in the west. Although the topic might not seem particularly exciting, unless you really like cabbage, this brief overview provides insight that might help improve the reputation of a much-maligned vegetable.’ — Oxveg News

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Meg Muckenhoupt writes about ecology, travel, history and food. She has appeared on NPR’s Radio Boston and WCVB’s Chronicle, and her work has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix, Boston Magazine and the Time Out Boston guide. She is author of Boston Gardens and Green Spaces (2010) and lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.