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    What Is Savoy Cabbage?

    What is Savoy Cabbage?

     

    With the popularity of so many cooking shows, these days, this has become a very popular question.  What is savoy cabbage?  More importantly, why are so many of the top chefs and cooks using it? Let’s get those questions answered.

    savoy cabbage

    Despite its rough looking exterior, the Savoy cabbage is tender and sweet tasting.

    Let’s start with the appearance. As you can see from the picture, savoy cabbage has a very distinctive look. The highly contrasting shades of green, combined with the the deeply crinkled texture of the leaves, make savoy cabbages very appealing to the eye. 
     
    Some may look at these rough looking leaves and assume that they are tough and hard, even more so than the common, green cabbage that most people are used to, but they would be wrong.
     
     
     

    But that brings to one of the many traits that makes savoy cabbage so popular with cooks and chefs.

    Despite this rough appearance, the leaves of the savoy cabbage are tender, even when eaten raw. This makes them an ideal choice for salads, vegetable wraps, or as a bed for rice, fish, or other dishes. This in sharp contrast to the leaves of “green”  or “red”cabbages, that are hard and rubbery. Their only real use, in the raw state, is in making coleslaw. Even then, the texture can be too tough for many people to enjoy. On the other hand, savoy cabbage can make a tastier, and much more tender coleslaw.
     
    As a side note, the terms “green” and “red” cabbage, refer to specific types of cabbages. Green cabbage is the typical hard, rubbery cabbage that most people are familiar with. Red cabbage is also fairly common. It is also hard and rubbery, with a slightly bolder flavor, than the green, and is most often used for the color contrast, rather than for the flavor. These are both high in many nutritional factors. Unfortunately, due to their texture and taste, people use them sparingly in their raw state. They become more tender, and less bitter tasting, when cooked, but they lose a lot of nutritional value in the process. 
     
     

    Savoy Cabbage is a milder and sweeter alternative to green or red cabbage cabbage

    While the tenderness is a huge factor in the appeal of savoy cabbages, over other forms of cabbage, its taste is another reason for its popularity. The green and red cabbages have a slightly bitter taste, which some describe as peppery. Savoy cabbage, by comparison, is milder and sweeter, making it not only a good fit in salads, but also a much preferred alternative in just about any recipe that includes cabbage. 

     

     The nutritional and health benefits of savoy cabbage

    Like the rest of the cabbage family, savoy cabbage has high nutritional value. It is very low in calories, and contains no fat or cholesterol. It is a good source of dietary fiber, and protein. It is also rich in many vitamins and minerals, such as: Thiamine (B-1), folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, manganese, calcium, copper, phosphorous, and copper. They are also an excellent source of both Vitamins K and C. Each of the different types of cabbage have high nutritional value, as well as tremendous antioxidant and disease combating properties. These properties make cabbage one of the worlds healthiest foods.

     

    Savoy cabbage is the most tender and sweet a variety of cabbage

    As mentioned above, its tender leaves, and sweet taste, make it an ideal choice to eat raw in salads. These qualities also make it the preferred option in most recipes that include cabbage. In addition to its taste and texture, on the other highly beneficial trait is that it lacks the sulfur-like odor that most people, who have cooked cabbage, are more than familiar with. This makes Savoy cabbage the perfect choice of cabbage for cooking, as well.

     

     

     

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    28 Comments to “What Is Savoy Cabbage?”

    Interesting. I have seen or heard savoy cabbage mentioned in various recipes, but I had no idea what it was.

    Reply

      Many people have not heard of it, which is why this site is here. It gets mentioned on cooking shows, and people have no idea what it is.

      Reply

    Wow! That is a pretty wild looking cabbage.

    Reply

    I think it is a very cool looking cabbage, almost alien like. Other people describe the savoy cabbage as “pretty”. In any case, it definitely stands out. :)

    Reply

    I was born in Europe and seen my Grandma cook with it all the time,it’s delicious… I can’t imagine my cooking without it,just ask my ex and my sons…It is more expensive here in States than green cabbage,and not available in every store,but if you can find it,buy it and enjoy it,it’s worth it… :)

    Reply

      Oh, very nice. :) I think most people here in the states were not that fortunate. We grew up with the green cabbage, since it was so abundant. I know that I was not a big fan. Savoy cabbage is so much tastier.

      I agree, if you can find it, buy it….or grow it yourself if you have the right climate and a green thumb. :)

      Reply

    Thanks for the information. I am making vegetable soup tonight and couldn’t find any regular cabbage that looked good. So, I picked up a head of savoy cabbage.

    Reply

      Hi Janice, I think you will find that it is a great choice, especially over “regular” cabbage. It should make a wonderful addition to your soup. :)

      Reply

    Could not find savoy cabbage at store substituted napa cabbage instead for use in winter minestrone -ok?

    Reply

      Hi Misty,

      Napa cabbage is a Chinese cabbage similar to Bok Choy, which is also very tender and mild. It would be a good substitute if you cannot find Savoy cabbage at your store.

      Reply

        I needed to find s substitute for Savoy-reading the comments gave me the info. Thanks

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    I am making stuffed cabbage rolls for dinner and have always used the green cabbage. I had to almost cook the cabbage well done before it was stuffed and even afterward the rib was always tough which made the roll fall apart when it was cut. I am super anxious to try the savoy cabbage. I have read that it is more tender and sweeter than the bitter, tough green cabbage. Can’t wait to try this cabbage in the stuffed rolls recipe.

    Reply

      I’m sure that you will enjoy it a lot more using the Savoy cabbage. :) There really is a big difference between the Savoy and the tough and bitter green cabbage.

      Reply

    I was born in northern Italy. My mom used Savoy cabbage exclusively. As a boy, I wasn’t even aware there was any other type of cabbage. I agree with the comments in the entry about the qualities of this cabbage. But, I’ve always wondered, why is it named “Savoy”? Is it named after the former royal house of Italy?

    Reply

      The Savoy cabbage gets its name from the Savoy region of the Western Alps, where it is believed to have originated. That area was, indeed, the feudal territory of the House of Savoy. :)

      Reply

    I want to improve my cabbage rolls and thought Savoy might be the answer. Is there a downside to savoy – can it be cooked low and slow for cabbage rolls? Also – my last version of cabbage rolls (recipe purely out of my head)turned out awful. There was a strange minty type flavour in some of the cabbage rolls – we used two or three heads and I know we did not buy the cabbage at the same time from the strange grocer. I don’t know if I picked up some weird variety? The oddest thing was that with the leftover meat/rice I made a casserole (no cabbage) for the freezer. We ate this and it was great – no odd minty (?) taste. Did I do something somewhere somehow to create an odd outcome???

    Thank you for being there!

    Reply

      The main downside is that Savoy does not store as well as it’s sturdier cousins. There is no real downside in cooking with it. You just need to be aware that you don’t need to cook it as long as with tougher green cabbage, so that you don’t over cook it.

      As for the taste of that other cabbage, that is hard to say. I assume that you mean a bitter mint taste, and not the good mint taste. :)

      One possibility is that you are just interpreting the bitter taste as minty. Everyone’s sense of taste is a little different. Some think that green cabbage tastes peppery, but that’s not really how I interpret the taste myself.

      It could also be a factor of when the cabbage was grown and picked. Cabbage is typically a cold climate vegetable. The cold weather produces sugars within the plant which reduces the bitterness. If grown and picked in a warmer climate, there may be a noticeable difference in taste than when it is picked in a colder climate.

      Lastly, there are many hybrids of cabbage that are genetically designed for better longevity for large scale distribution. What you experienced may have been a taste variation of a certain hybrid.

      I hope that helps. :)

      Reply

    ha! not “strange” grocer but I should have said “same” grocer. It is early>>>

    Reply

      LOL I can definitely relate. I’ve had my share of those moments myself. :)

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    I should have also asked can you microwave or freeze savoy when prepping for cabbage rolls?

    Reply

      Microwaving should be fine. You can cook with Savoy, just like other cabbage, but you don’t need to over-cook it to get it to be somewhat tender, like you do with green cabbage. Adjust your cooking time accordingly.

      Freezing any vegetable of this type can be tricky. They contain a lot of water, so freezing them can be damaging. Still, it can be done. Only freeze raw cabbage, not cooked. Remove the external leaves, section it, and remove the core. Store the cabbage in as airtight of a container that you can come up with. Preferably one where you can pump or suck all the air out of.

      Reply

    I suppose SAVOY is high in Vitamin K, which is then on the NO-NO list for those on blood thinners. Oh gasp………. I miss my veggies.

    Reply

      It is fairly high in Vitamin K. Not as high as spinach, but a good amount, as do most green leafy vegetables. They also provide much more vitamin K after being cooked than they do in their raw state.

      That said, vitamin K is still something that you body needs. You may just have to severely manage the amount that you get, and how. I would recommend talking to your doctor or a nutritional specialist about your specific situation, and see if they can come up with a specific diet plan for you.

      Reply

    We just experienced savoy cabbage for the first time. It is excellent and I will not use green cabbage again.

    Reply

      Excellent. I am very happy for you. Yes, once you try Savoy cabbage, you just can’t go back to eating green cabbage again, can you? :)

      Btw, I think they need to change the name of “green cabbage”. Most cabbage is green and I always feel like I have to explain which green cabbage I am referring to when talking about the bad one. :D

      Reply

    I bought savoy cabbage today at Krogers. I’ve never seen it before but when I saw it today at the store, I thought it was so beautiful I could not pass it by…even though I knew nothing about it and it was about $1.50 a lb! It’s nice to find your site. I am excited about finding such an eye appealing vegetable, also.

    Reply

      Yes, the savoy cabbage has this unique look that just catches your eye, doesn’t it? :) I think you will be very pleased with the taste and texture. Enjoy. :D

      Reply