Cabbages are bad for you…..

I am not particularly fond of cabbage and I have found four people who agree with me

Robert Burton, in The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), which starts with the brilliant “I write of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy.” goes on to tell the reader that all depressives should stay well away from cabbages. He goes on to warn that:
“Amongst herbs to be eaten I find gourds, cowcumbers, coleworts, melons disallowed, but especially cabbage. It causeth trouble-some dreams and sends up black vapours to the brain.”

And Samuel Pepys was not particularly struck with the qualities of the cabbage as his diary entry for Sunday, March 10, 1660, attests

“Dined at home on a poor Lenten dinner of coleworts and bacon” His Sunday didn’t get much better because in the afternoon he “went to church and the sermon was dull”. .”

Another man singularly unimpressed with the cabbage would have been the composer J.S. Bach. In his Goldberg Variations, a series of keyboard music for the harpsichord, he devotes Variation 30 to his dislike of cabbage. The lyrics of which start

“Cabbage and turnips have driven me away/Had my mother cooked meat, I’d have opted to stay.”

Likewise the society darling and man about town Beau Brummel who was once asked as to why he had failed to marry a particular lady, he replied, “Why, what could I do, my good fellow, but cut the connection? I discovered that Lady Mary actually ate cabbage!”


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