Kohlrabi is native to Northern Europe, and is a member of the cabbage family. The name "kohlrabi" is taken directly from the German and means "cabbage turnip." A European botanist first described this vegetable in 1554. and by the end of the sixteenth century it was known in Germany, England, Spain, Italy, Tripoli, and the eastern Mediterranean. The first mention of its presence in the United States was in about 1800. Kohlrabi is grown for the swollen stem, which resembles white turnips in flavor, but is more delicate.
Kohlrabi has an unusual appearance that distinguishes it from other members of the cabbage family. Instead of a head of closely packed leaves, there is a globular swelling of the stem, some three or four inches in diameter just above the ground. The leaves are similar to those of a turnip.
The leading types of kohlrabi in this country are the White and Purple Vienna. The White variety, which is actually a light green, is the more popular. Other varieties with fancy leaves are grown in Europe. These are used chiefly for ornamental purposes.
The condition of the tops is a good indication of quality. The tops should be young and green. The thickened stem should be firm and crisp, and not over about three inches in diameter.
Benefits of KohlrabiKohlrabi has an alkaline reaction and is high in vitamin C. Because it has a high vitamin C content, it is good for the skeletal, digestive, and lymphatic systems. It may be baked or steamed.
Nutrients in one pound
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