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The lowly cabbage has finally become a cool veggie – Chicago Sun-Times

Here’s a sentence that might come as a surprise: Cabbage is cool.

That taken-for-granted vegetable, that sturdy, dense staple of many a poor, ancestral homeland, is finally getting respect.

“It’s all about how it is prepared, how it’s elevated,” says Paul Kahan, the James Beard award-winning chef based in Chicago and self-professed cabbage freak.

He thinks that because cabbage has mainly been associated with sustenance, it hasn’t been given its due.

Cabbage is part of most of the world’s cooking history. Perhaps most famously, it was one of the only sources of sustenence in famine-ravaged Ireland in the mid-19th century. Thus the classic Irish dish corned beef and cabbage, not to mention colcannon.

In China, there’s cabbage sauteed with bean curd. In England, cabbage cooked with potatoes and other vegetables in bubble and squeak. In Norway, the hot and sour surkal. In the U.S., coleslaw. Fermented and pickled cabbage dishes abound, including kimchi in Korea, and sauerkraut in Poland, Germany and other parts of middle and Eastern Europe. Stuffed cabbage rolls are
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