This is a preview of the content in our Italian Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Add Map function to find sites, as well as your own custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with our advanced text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play



The Italians find cabbage faintly ridiculous. Che cavolo vuoi? ('What cabbage do you want?') means 'What the hell do you want?' Or 'come il cavolo a merenda' ('like a cabbage at tea time') means 'that's got nothing to do with it!'

cavolo cappuccio: spring cabbage

cavalo cinese: Chinese cabbage

cavolo da foraggio or cavolo cavaliere, or cavolo alto: big, flat-leaf kale (but sometimes used for curly varieties)

cavolo lombardo: Savoy cabbage

cavolo di Milano: Savoy cabbage

cavolo rosso red cabbage

cavolo navoni: rutabaga (swede)

cavolo nero, or cavolaccio: Tuscan kale

cavolo riccio: curly kale

cavolo sott'aceto: pickled cabbage

cavolo verzo: Savoy or Napa cabbage (also see verza)

Also spelled cavulu.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: pizzodisevo 1937