Fearing Burr on Savoy Cabbage

The best Savoy cabbage in existence.

The book Field and Garden Vegetables of America, written by Fearing Burr in 1863, was one of the first gardening treatises for American gardeners.

The subtitle is “Containing the full descriptions of nearly eleven hundred species and varieties; with directions for propagation, culture, and use; illustrated.” We love old books because they provide a detailed summary on the title page.

We are pleased to share with you the captivating history of an heirloom from the past. This book has been referenced in numerous writings, and we have been determined to acquire it for several years. Our persistence paid off when we finally found an older reprint in excellent condition and at a reasonable price.

Here’s what Fearing had to say about Savoy Cabbage in 1863!

Savoy Cabbage

“This class of Cabbages derives its popular name from Savoy, a small district adjoining Italy, where the variety originated, and from whence it was introduced into England and France more than a hundred and fifty years ago. The Savoys are distinguished from the common head or closehearted Cabbages by their peculiar, wrinkled, or blistered leaves. According to Decandole, this peculiarity is caused by the fact that the pulp, or thin portion of the leaf, is developed more rapidly than the ribs and nerves.

Besides the distinction in the structure of the leaves, the Savoys, when compared with the Common Cabbages, are slower in their development, and have more open or less compactly formed heads. In texture and flavor they are thought to approach some of the Broccolis or Cauliflowers; having, generally, little of the peculiar musky odor and taste common to some of the coarser and larger varieties of Cabbages.

None of the family are the hardier or more easily cultivated than the Savoys; and thought they will not quite survive the winter in the open ground, so far are they from being injured by cold and frosty weather, that a certain degree of frost is considered necessary for the complete perfections of their texture and flavor.”

Maybe Savoy Cabbage should be the cabbage of choice in everyone’s garden. We offer the Savoy Perfection Cabbage, which in a 1932 Burpee’s Seed Catalog was described as, “The best Savoy Cabbage in existence. Considered more tasty than ordinary cabbage. The deep green, crinkled outer leaves enclose a solid, tender, light green heart of remarkably sweet flavor. Easily stored for winter use.”

These details are a perfect illustration of why heirloom vegetables are prized for their exceptional flavor and texture. They offer a unique variety of produce that is highly sought-after by food enthusiasts and connoisseurs.