Cabbage – on the look-out for this year’s most prestigious vegetable

Did you know that cabbage is one of the best loved vegetables in Sweden? Think about it: cabbage bake, cabbage rolls, and cabbage soup. What would traditional Swedish cooking be without these great rustic dishes?

White cabbage is definitely the king of all ingredients in Swedish cuisine. It’s healthy, crispy, and cheap. And if white cabbage is the number one ingredient, it is closely followed by its relative, cauliflower – used throughout history and ‘Vegetable of the Year 2013,’ according to many top chefs and food writers!

Swedish Cabbage. Photo: Lisa Nestorson

Cabbage tastes just as nice after slow cooking in Granny’s kitchen as it does in a quick soup, as a sandwich filling or in a nutritious salad. These are all up and coming trends this year. Locally-grown food is very fashionable and we like to eat the sort of food our grandmothers’ cooked – traditional dishes, but in a simpler, more modern way.

The best thing about cauliflower is that it has a special sweetness and a mild flavour that is at its best when you don’t overcook it.

This is something Gothenburg chef, Pelle Danielsson, knows a lot about. He recently wrote the cook book, Cabbage at Pelle’s. As you’d expect, he has allowed different types of brassica to take centre stage. The humble cabbages have been given a prominent position and protein has taken a backseat. This approach has been a great success. In his own way, Pelle has modernized traditional Swedish cooking and put his own signature on the recipes in the book, based on his great passion for cabbages. The food feels timeless and Pelle’s vision is that everyone should be able to enjoy great traditional dishes.

Swedish Cabbage Up-Close. Photo: Lisa Nestorson

Pelle says: “When it comes down to it, good food from my perspective is about the love for the ingredients. Today, food plays an important role as an indicator of our identity – I feel cabbage is a vegetable that symbolises sustainable Scandinavian food in a good way. Gunnebo House and Gardens has a clear focus on using vegetables from their own kitchen garden. According to their philosophy, locally-grown vegetables should take up more space on your plate than protein. Their food identity is based on a strong passion for sustainability and genuineness.”

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