Cabbage Love: Surplus prompts P.E.I. woman to stand up for the humble vegetable

News of a surplus of cabbages has led a local woman to throw out a challenge to her fellow Prince Edward Islanders.

‘I have always been a huge fan of cabbage’

MacKenzie Produce is dealing with a surplus of more than 500,000 kg of cabbage. (MacKenzie Produce)

News of a surplus of cabbages has led a local woman to throw out a challenge to her fellow Prince Edward Islanders.

The cold weather is not conducive to cole slaw, say Stratford, P.E.I., farmers Greg and Tania MacKenzie. Restaurant closures in the COVID-19 pandemic have also hurt the wholesale market. They have a surplus of more than 500,000 kg of cabbage.

"I think that we could do that," said Ann Thurlow, of the challenge of 158,000 Islanders eating that much cabbage.

Thurlow has launched a Facebook group, P.E.I. Cabbage Club, where people can share recipes and the joy they take in the cabbage.

"I have always been a huge fan of cabbage. I love it. I think it's a hugely underrated vegetable," she said.

"When I saw that the Mackenzies were having a glut of cabbage, which I understand, I thought here's a chance to promote the cabbage and to point out to people that we're missing a really, really great nutritional opportunity."

Keeping it simple

Despite her love of cabbage, Thurlow is not a big fan of cole slaw.

She prefers it cooked. Her own go-to is cabbage soup, a simple affair with butter, cabbage, milk, and maybe a little sausage.

Cabbage, she said, takes on many fine qualities when cooked.

"When you eat it raw it has almost a little bit of an acrid taste," she said.

"But when you cook it just gets really smooth and it gets really, really sweet. It's so interesting."

'I am an enthusiastic but very lazy cook,' says Ann Thurlow. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

It's a shame people are focused on cole slaw when it comes to cabbage, she said. She'll eat it, but considers it one of the worst uses for it.

She is inviting people to share any kind of recipe on her Facebook page, but she said she will be sticking to low-maintenance recipes.

"I am an enthusiastic but very lazy cook," said Thurlow.

"I find that making something like kimchi — I know there are people out there going, 'It's easy, it's easy' — and I know that it is, but I buy kimchi and I appreciate it."

Thurlow said so far her Facebook page has not attracted a lot of followers. She confesses she is not very good at social media, but said for the sake of cabbage she aims to get better at it.

She is setting her sights high.

"I am looking forward to — What is it? — Cabbage Love next year."

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning


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