Red cabbage (a purple-leaved variety of the Brassica oleracea Capitata group) is a type of cabbage that is also called Chou Rouge because of the method of preparation. The leaf color is deep red/purple. However, the plant changes color depending on the pH of the soil because of the pigments that belong to anthocyanins. In acidic soil, the leaves turn red. Neutral soils tend to grow purple, while alkaline soils produce more greenish-yellow cabbages. This explains the fact that the same plant is known for different colors in different regions.
Growing red cabbage requires fertile soil and plenty of moisture. It is a seasonal plant that is sown in spring and harvested in late autumn. It has a longer shelf life than its “white” cousin, and there’s no need to switch to sauerkraut for the winter.
Natural ph indicator
Red cabbage juice can be used as a homemade pH indicator, turning red in acidic solutions and green/yellow in alkaline solutions. On cooking, it changes color and becomes blue. To preserve the red color of cabbage, you need to add vinegar or acidic fruit to the pan.
- Great for traditional meals
Red cabbage is often used raw in salads and coleslaw. It is a traditional accompaniment to many German dishes, especially meat dishes such as sauerbraten and kebabs. At Christmas, it can be seasoned and stewed and served as an accompaniment to seasonal goose or turkey roasts. Apples are often added for a sweet and sour taste.