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Category: Food



Introduction and description

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Kohlrabi (German turnip or turnip cabbage; Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group) is an annual root vegetable, and is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage. Once peeled, it can be sliced and used as a simple vegetable, or slowly cooked in cream with dried basil added, or it can be used in salads.  More ideas are provided below.

It has taste unlike either cabbage or a root vegetable being very delicate with none of the root vegetable or cabbage robustness, although the sweetness is still there [as long as it is fresh – all root vegetables are sweet when freshly gathered, as is cabbage].  Children like kohlrabi.  It is why the vegetable is better eaten relatively plain, the taste is destroyed if strong flavourings are used.

Interestingly, it also has medicinal value, as practically all foods do, but kohlrabi has some special uses medicinally.



Except for the Gigante cultivar, spring-grown kohlrabi much over 5 cm in size tend to be woody, as do full-grown kohlrabi much over this size; small and delicate is best.  In a moderate climate, the plant matures in 55–60 days after sowing. In the North of England at 1,000 feet, it takes a bit longer!

If you grow them a little later in the season for overwintering, they can be used as a winter vegetable along with swede and turnip.

Kohlrabi will happily withstand quite severe winters, although if they freeze solid they are no good.  A covering of snow, however, does them no harm.


The name comes from the German Kohl ("cabbage") plus Rübe ~ Rabi (Swiss German variant) ("turnip"), because the swollen stem resembles the latter.

Kohlrabi’s origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts: they are all bred from, and are the same species as, the wild cabbage plant (Brassica oleracea).

There are several varieties although the taste is much the same for all of them.  Examples include  White Vienna, Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Gigante (also known as "Superschmelz"), Purple Danube, and White Danube. Coloration of the purple types is superficial: the edible parts are all pale yellow to white.

One commonly used variety grows without a swollen stem, having just leaves and a very thin stem, and is called Haakh. Haakh and Monj are popular Kashmiri dishes made using this vegetable.

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