Cabbages (Choux)

Savoy curly cabbages at the French market

Random Facts about Cabbages in France

  • Most cabbages are grown in Brittany, Nord-Pas de Calais and Rhône-Alpes and although 7th biggest producer in Europe (EuroStat, 2016, the most choux crazy are Poland, Germany and Romania;
  • There are 4 main types of cabbage: white, red (Chou Cabus), Savoy (round-headed) and Kale or Spring cabbage). The others from the same family are cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi;
  • White cabbage (choux blancs) is mainly used to make the popular winter dish from Alsace, Choucroûte (Sauerkraut) and in salads;
  • Red cabbage is popular cooked slowly in vinegar and apples, a recipe cited as Choux Rouges à la Flamande by Chef Auguste Escoffier in his Guide to Modern Cookery (1903):
    Quarter the cabbages, suppress the outside leves and the stumps, and cut the trimmed leaves into a fine julienne. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, sprinkle with vinegar and put this julienne into a well-buttered earthenware cocotte. Cover and cook in a moderate oven. When the cooking is 3-parts done, add 4 peeled and quartered apples and a tablespoonful of powdered sugar.”
  • A popular French home-cooked classic cabbage dish is the Chou Farci recipe, using the Savoy cabbage.

Fun Expression with Cabbages

“Je suis dans les choux”
Familiar expression meaning “I’ve failed” or “I’ve got so many problems” (literally translated as I’m in the cabbages, as choux sounds like from the verb, échouer, to fail).

Cabbage Season

Autumn; Winter; Spring.
October – April.

Cabbage Recipes

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