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Mini-cabbage?

fldhkybnva Sep 19, 2013 09:16 AM

Is this just a baby cabbage or a different species altogether? I had a hard time finding the answer via the Interwebs. It seems like a great idea given that in our house of 2 we have to struggle to try to use an entire large head.

  1. fldhkybnva Sep 24, 2013 07:44 AM

    I bought the mini cabbage last week, it's about 12 oz and well, to me, looks like a mini cabbage, not a mini brussel sprouts although they might be the same species. It literally resembles what I identify as a green cabbage.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fldhkybnva
      fldhkybnva Sep 24, 2013 07:55 AM

      Here's a picture of the little guy

       
    2. i
      Isolda Sep 23, 2013 04:44 PM

      Never heard of this, but if it tastes like a Brussels sprout, don't buy it! ;)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Isolda
        Gio Sep 23, 2013 04:47 PM

        Laughing out loud! What a thing to say. You don't like Brussels sprouts? I do. So funny.

      2. k
        kitchengardengal Sep 19, 2013 03:23 PM

        We grew a few in our home garden. They are a separate species, taste the same as standard cabbage. I just quartered them and steamed them.

        9 Replies
        1. re: kitchengardengal
          fldhkybnva Sep 19, 2013 03:30 PM

          Great, thanks. I guess that was my question as some "mini" vegetable are different species but taste very different. I plan to either stuff them or use them for cabbage steaks which is why I was interested in the smaller ones as they seem perfect size for cabbage steaks.

          1. re: fldhkybnva
            greygarious Sep 19, 2013 05:33 PM

            How do they compare to standard cabbages, pricewise? If it costs more than a little extra, mini makes no sense beyond the "cute" factor. Much as I hate wasting food, cabbage is the cheapest vegetable I can think of. If you can't use up a regular cabbage in a reasonable amount of time, and you don't have room to shred and freeze it (it's fine for braising or soup after freezing), throwing away $1 worth of over-the-hill cabbage is not a huge deal.

            1. re: greygarious
              fldhkybnva Sep 19, 2013 06:29 PM

              Actually I was rushed last week and my final decision was gonna be a price match so I decided to wait. It seemed to be higher priced from a quick glance which means I probably won't be buying it if its significantly more expensive.

              1. re: greygarious
                coll Sep 19, 2013 06:34 PM

                Lately I have been freezing leftover scraps of cabbage to throw into soups and Asian dishes. It's cheap but still, I hate to waste it.

            2. re: kitchengardengal
              e
              earthygoat Sep 23, 2013 04:17 PM

              All cabbages, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli etc. are the same species, Brassica oleracea. They are just different cultivars or varieties and will cross pollinate easily. The mini cabbage is just another variety among thousands. I grow mini cabbages by cutting off the main large cabbage head off the plant. That one plant sends off side shoots or mini cabbage heads.

              1. re: earthygoat
                Gio Sep 23, 2013 04:42 PM

                Right. However, the mini-cabbage specifics are: Gonzales (F1) (Brassica oleracea (capitata group)). Specifically grown.

                "In Johnny's close spacing trials, Gonzales was the earliest to make dense, uniform, sweetly spicy mini heads from 4-6" in diameter, depending on spacing."

                So, it's a cultivar unto it's own. Not Brussels sprouts. Not side shoots of larger varieties. That's what gives the minis their unique sweetly spicy flavor.

                1. re: Gio
                  Gio Sep 23, 2013 04:45 PM

                  And just because, another of variety:

                  "Caraflex - early green
                  Cone-shaped, pointed mini cabbage .Extremely uniform, small heads with good wrapper leaves for insect and sun protection. Inner leaves are tender and have an excellent, rich cabbage flavor. Perfect for summer salads, slaws, or cooked dishes."

                  http://hepworthfarms.com/cabbage.html

                  1. re: Gio
                    e
                    earthygoat Sep 23, 2013 05:12 PM

                    Well, the capitata group refers to cabbages of the Brassica oleracea species, which refer to any cabbage, whether mini or not. The F1 refers to it being a hybrid, meaning it can have large cabbages as parents. That's the fascinating thing about the Brassica family and plant breeding. Basically, all Brassica oleracea are divided into categories and cabbages fall into the capitata group. I'm just telling the OP that it's not a different species, but a different variety/cultivar.

                    According to your quote, they were close spacing trials, meaning the plants were grown close together. I can take most cabbage varieties and get little heads just by growing them in more crowded conditions. When they are spaced out, they will be larger. Or just by letting nature take it's course and rather than pulling up the roots when one large head is harvested, letting the plant produce several new heads. If you were to remove the "mini" head and let the plant continue growing, you would get more "super mini" heads. I'd bet that if these mini cabbages were grown with more space, they'd grow much bigger.

                    1. re: earthygoat
                      Gio Sep 23, 2013 05:14 PM

                      Ah, thanks. Good clarification!

              2. boogiebaby Sep 19, 2013 01:46 PM

                Never heard of mini cabbage, but I can find slightly larger than softball sized cabbages at my produce markets (I go to 2 different ones). They are the perfect size for our house (2 adults, 2 non cabbage eating kids)!

                1. Gio Sep 19, 2013 10:47 AM

                  "Round, mini cabbage for high-density plantings" photo at the Johnny's seed site:
                  http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8073-gonzales-f1.aspx

                  Recipe for Stuffed Mini-Cabbage:
                  http://fromherenow.wordpress.com/2012...

                  1. DuchessNukem Sep 19, 2013 10:45 AM

                    Sounds like Gonzales mini-cabbage:
                    http://parkseed.com/gonzales-hybrid-cabbage-seeds/p/05535-PK-P1/

                    Here's a thread on fermenting if you are interested in kraut/kimchi:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/860070

                    1. weezieduzzit Sep 19, 2013 10:35 AM

                      You can always ferment jars of home made sauerkraut if you end up with extra, you don't have to make a huge vat of it. It would make a nice addition to your mad scientist collection of sauces. :)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: weezieduzzit
                        fldhkybnva Sep 19, 2013 10:39 AM

                        Very true! The sauces are quickly disappearing. Hmm, who eats chili garlic sauce out of the jar...oh that's me. So just make a brine and mix? I imagine I could also use it for kimchi as well.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                          weezieduzzit Sep 19, 2013 10:44 AM

                          Search this board- there are some great instructions. You don't need to make brine, you salt it and pound it and the juice comes out to cover it... but really, search this board- a lot of people have done it and there are some great tips. Kimchi is another excellent idea... yum! Hannaone has given excellent kimchi instructions here.

                          1. re: weezieduzzit
                            JMF Sep 23, 2013 11:34 AM

                            To make sauerkraut, slice cabbage. Add 5% salt by weight to cabbage and mix well, working the salt into the cabbage by squeezing. Within a few hours enough liquid should release to cover the cabbage. (If not enough liquid is released make a brine that is 2% salt by weight to water) Make sure some type of weight is on top of cabbage so it is completely submerged so you don't get mold. Let naturally ferment. You have to make sure you have a way for the gas to escape. You can boost the natural probiotics that are forming by adding the liquid/whey from drained yogurt. But the flavor of starting with a natural fermentation is better so add after two weeks unless the fermentation doesn't start. in 4-6 weeks it will be ready, although some folks like to eat it before it gets fully sour. I let mine go for three months, then pack in jars and keep in fridge for up to a year. The longer the more flavorful and tangy.

                            By the way, for all pickling those proportions are what you should use for naturally fermented pickles. 5% salt by weight to vegetable/fruit, or 2% salt by weight to water for brine pickling

                            1. re: JMF
                              fldhkybnva Sep 23, 2013 01:04 PM

                              Thanks, I saved these instructions and will definitely try it out. I'm a pickled anything fanatic.

                      2. coll Sep 19, 2013 10:32 AM

                        I always think of brussel sprouts as mini cabbages.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: coll
                          fldhkybnva Sep 19, 2013 10:37 AM

                          I do too but this was labeled "mini cabbage" and looked like a small cabbage, probably about the size of a softball.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                            s
                            suzigirl Sep 19, 2013 10:39 AM

                            I have one of those in my fridge right now. I couldn't resist its cuteness. I have no idea how I am going to use it yet.

                          2. re: coll
                            Tripeler Sep 19, 2013 08:02 PM

                            This is exactly what brussels sprouts are called in Japan.

                            1. re: Tripeler
                              coll Sep 20, 2013 03:12 AM

                              That's cool to know!

                              1. re: coll
                                Tripeler Sep 20, 2013 06:31 AM

                                Actually, they are only called "mini-kyabetsu" colloquially some times. The proper name is "me-kyabetsu" with the "me" meaning "sprout" as in a sprouted grain.
                                Written, it is 芽キャベツ which IS a pretty cool name.

                                1. re: Tripeler
                                  coll Sep 20, 2013 07:04 AM

                                  My brother was stationed in Japan for awhile and took lessons in Japanese while there, he loved the language too. I'll have to bring this up next time we speak.

                            2. re: coll
                              Chemicalkinetics Sep 20, 2013 10:18 AM

                              You beat me to it. I was going to write to the original poster:

                              "It is called Brussel Sprouts"

                            3. greygarious Sep 19, 2013 10:24 AM

                              Never heard of it but I have seen supermarket cabbages not more than 5" in diameter. I live alone so try to get small ones. However, when the farmer's market priced them by piece rather than pound, I got one the size of a basketball.
                              By carefully removing one leaf at a time, so as not to cut into more than just the base of each leaf, it remained crisp in the fridge, without discoloring, for the 3 months it took to finish it.
                              In retrospect, buying it was stupid. It took up half a fridge shelf most of that time, because it was too large for the crisper.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: greygarious
                                fldhkybnva Sep 19, 2013 10:37 AM

                                Your last point is my reason for inquiring as the darn things take up so much room!

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