Cabbage may be infested with black/gray thrips or aphids and, less often, cabbage worm. Though cabbage infestation is seasonal, being more prevalent during the summer months, our research has indicated that outbreaks of infestation do occur in the winter months as well. We, therefore, recommend that cabbage be inspected throughout the year. Please check “Kashrut Instructions” below.
- 3 Tablespoons pareve margarine
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 head Savoy or green cabbage, cored and shredded
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- ¼ lb. farfel noodles, freshly cooked and drained
- In a large skillet, heat the margarine and oil.
- Cook the onion until very soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cabbage and cook until limp, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar and continue cooking until the cabbage turns golden-brown, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the pepper and poppy seed and toss with the farfel.
INFESTATION: Cabbage may be infested with black/gray thrips and, less often, cabbageworm. Though cabbage infestation is seasonal, being more prevalent during the summer months, our research has indicated that outbreaks of infestation do occur in the winter months as well. We, therefore, recommend that cabbage be inspected throughout the year.
Fortunately, it has been determined that infestation is predominantly limited to the first three layers of leaves, i.e. the outermost six leaves on the head (two per layer). If these six leaves are found to be clean, the rest of the head may be used. (Although insects have been found deeper than the third layer, this is uncommon.)
The above holds true for Grade A cabbage only. Inferior grades of cabbage are much more prone to infestation, and their use is not recommended.
The cabbageworm is a small (approximately 1/8” long) white or sometimes green worm that burrows its way into the cabbage head. Holes in the outer leaves of the head are signs of the presence of these worms. When exposed, these worms will at times stand up vertically off the surface of the leaf.
Please note: When examining sacks or cases of cabbage (typically containing 12-16 heads of cabbage taken from the same field), if three heads are found to be completely clean, the rest of the cabbage in that sack or case may be used without any inspection once the wrapper leaves have been discarded. Cabbage taken from larger cases or bins must be individually checked. Several methods have been developed for the inspection of cabbage:
- Detach the loose leaves (“wrapper leaves”) and discard.
- Core the cabbage and split the head in half, allowing the leaves to be peeled away more easily.
- Peel the three outermost layers (approximately six leaves, not including wrapper leaves) off the head.
- Carefully check these six leaves. The most practical way to check is to hold the leaf above direct light. Because the leaf is translucent and the bugs are not, the bugs are accentuated and easily detected. Check both sides of each leaf.
- If only one or two insects are found on these six leaves, then they and the remaining leaves of the head may be used without further checking. It is recommended that the remaining leaves be washed before use.
- If three or more insects are found on the first six leaves, the remaining leaves must be thoroughly washed and checked prior to use. The second method described above (3-4) is impractical when cabbage quarters must remain tightly packed so that they may be shredded easily. It should be noted that the outer leaves of the quarter sections must be removed, checked and put back to facilitate shredding.
Shredded cabbage may be washed in a colander; no inspection is required.