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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 or bok choy or pak choy

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 navoni: rutabaga (swede)

cavolo nero, or cavolaccio: Tuscan kale

cavolo riccio: curly kale

cavolo rosso: red cabbage

cavolo sott'aceto: pickled cabbage

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

Also spelled cavulu.


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by pizzodisevo 1937