To Fall in Love With Cabbage, Do This
If I look at other food writers and chefs, I’m certainly not the only one with a complicated attitude towards cabbage. Not many people will pour their hearts out in an unromantic love song dedicated to the ancestors of all brasses. The only one I can think of is Nora Ephron, with her piece “The Lost Strudel” – admittedly less like a love song and more of an elegant piece.
Ephron’s strudel, a savory version of cabbage, is made at a Hungarian bakery on Third Avenue in Manhattan called Mrs. Herbst’s. It has a buttery, spongy, crunchy crust, “with a moist sautéed cabbage filling that is simultaneously sweet, savory, and completely unexpected, like all goodies.”
Alas, Mrs. Herbst’s closed around 1982, and Ephron, despite his best efforts, could not find an alternative or reproduce the original. As she wrote: “And so, at first, you hope. And then you hope against hope. And then in the end, you lose hope. And you get it: the three stages of grief over the loss of food.”
Another author who seems to have confused humans with cabbage is British food writer Jane Grigson. She wrote: “As a vegetable, it has original sin and needs to be improved. It can stink in the pot, loiter around the house, and spoil meals with its tender flesh. Cabbage also has a bad history of being good for you.”
So you’re done, all the flaws of the cabbage, laid out on a plate, minced without words.
However, Grigson also began to suggest solutions and mitigating circumstances. Number 1 is the type of cabbage used. She refers to John Evelyn, a 17th-century English writer and gardener who wrote of savoy cabbage, a relatively new variety at the time that was “not so high-class, but pleasant to the eyes of the eyes.” for most tastes.” If I were a cabbage, I wouldn’t welcome that compliment.