Cabbage is a vegetable of the large Brassicaceae family characterized by compounds containing sulfur, responsible for the typical taste and smell released during cooking. It is made up of a compact head of leaves, which are tightly closed to each other, smooth and covered with a waxy substance that makes them slightly greasy. There are two types of cabbage: the one with white leaves, with some greenish hues (Alba variety) and the one with red leaves (Rubra variety, the most common is the "Testa di negro", with a purplish color). As for other varieties, many hybrids are grown (such as the Red Star , red) and then there some local varieties (Cuor di bue and Precoce di Napoli, both white).
It is a rustic plant, grown in open fields in all Italian regions. Italy has in fact about 2000 hectares (with an average density of 40,000 plants per hectare), especially in the South (Puglia, Campania, Lazio) for the autumn-winter harvests and in Trentino, Veneto and Emilia Romagna for the spring production.
Cabbage can be enjoyed stewed or raw in mixed salads (in this case, the red one is slightly sweeter and rich in vitamin C). In particular, the white cabbages, reduced into strips and fermented, are used in Trentino Alto Adige and Germany in the preparation of the typical sauerkraut. Furthermore, cabbage is excellent paired with sausage, zampone and cotechino.