Cabbage is a crunchy, nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed cooked or raw.
But have you ever gone to the grocery store and picked up a head of cabbage only to find that it’s mushy and rotten on the inside? Or maybe you’ve had a head of cabbage in your fridge for a couple of weeks and you’re not sure if it’s still good to eat.
Like all produce, cabbage has a limited shelf life and will eventually go bad. But how to tell if cabbage is bad?
With this handy guide, you’ll be able to tell if your cabbage is still fresh and edible or if it’s time to make a trip back to the grocery store.
- How to Tell if Cabbage Is Bad?
- Types Of Cabbage
- How To Cut Cabbage
- How To Store Cabbage
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
How to Tell if Cabbage Is Bad?
To tell if cabbage is bad, check the leaves for brown or wilted spots. If the cabbage is starting to look yellow, then it is most likely past its peak freshness. If the cabbage is mushy, has slimy spots or molds growing, or has a sour odor, then it is bad and you should not eat it.
1. Color of Cabbage
One of the easiest ways to tell if cabbage is bad is to look at the color. A fresh head of cabbage will have crisp, green leaves. As cabbage starts to go bad, the leaves will begin to yellow and wilt.
If you see any brown or black spots on the leaves, this is a sign that the cabbage has started to rot and should be thrown away.
2. Smell of Cabbage
Another way to tell if cabbage has gone bad is to smell it. Fresh cabbage has a crisp, slightly sweet smell. As it starts to go bad, the cabbage will develop a sour smell.
If the cabbage smells rancid or like rotting meat, it should not be eaten.
3. Texture of Cabbage
In addition to looking and smelling bad, cabbage that has gone bad will also feel bad. Give the cabbage a gentle squeeze. A fresh head of cabbage will be crisp and firm to the touch.
As it starts to go bad, the cabbage will become limp and mushy. If the leaves are wilted and the cabbage is soft or slimy to the touch, it should be thrown away.
4. Mold on Cabbage
Mold is another sign that cabbage has gone bad. Mold can range in color from white to black and can appear as spots or patches on the surface of the cabbage.
If you see any mold on the cabbage, it should be thrown away.
5. Taste of Cabbage
Of course, the best way to tell if cabbage is bad is to taste it. Fresh cabbage should have a slightly sweet, crunchy taste. As it starts to go bad, the cabbage will taste sour and bitter. If the cabbage tastes bad, it should not be eaten.
If your cabbage passes all of these tests, then it’s safe to eat. Enjoy it in a delicious slaw or sauteed as a side dish. But if not, it’s time to toss it out and get a fresh head of cabbage.
When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw away cabbage that looks or smells even slightly off. Cabbage that has gone bad can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, so it’s not worth taking the risk.
Types Of Cabbage
There are many different types of cabbage, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Green, red, napa, and savoy cabbage are the most common cabbages you’ll find at the grocery store.
1. Green Cabbage
Green cabbage is the most common type of cabbage and has a light green head with crisp, tender leaves.
It has a slightly sweet, crunchy flavor. It can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in a variety of dishes. It’s often used in slaws and sauteed dishes.
2. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is similar in appearance to green cabbage but has deep purple leaves. It is slightly sweeter than green cabbage. Red cabbage has a slightly peppery flavor and is often used in salads and stir-fries.
3. Napa Cabbage
Napa cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage that has long, light green leaves. It has a milder flavor than other varieties of cabbage. Napa cabbage has a slightly sweet flavor and is often used in soups and stir-fries.
4. Savoy Cabbage
Savoy cabbage is another popular type of cabbage that has crinkly leaves and a tender texture. It has a crisp, slightly bitter flavor and is often used in salads and slaws.
How To Cut Cabbage
While it may seem daunting at first, cutting cabbage is actually quite simple. Just follow these five easy steps.
1. Start by removing the innermost leaves of the cabbage head. These leaves are often yellowed or wilted and can be discarded.
2. Cut the cabbage head in half from top to bottom. If the cabbage is very large, you may need to cut it into quarters.
3. Remove the tough core from each half (or quarter) of the cabbage head. The core can be easily identified by its thicker, white stalk.
4. Slice the remaining cabbage into thin strips or chop it into bite-sized pieces, depending on your needs.
5. Give the cabbage a final rinse under cold water and then it will be ready to use in your recipe of choice.
How To Store Cabbage
Cabbage should be stored in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 1-2 weeks. Once the cabbage has been cut, it should be used within a few days. Proper storage is important to prolong the shelf life of cabbage.
To extend its shelf life, cabbage can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Simply place it in a freezer-safe bag or container and then thaw it in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use it.
Cabbage can also be pickled, which is a great way to preserve it for long-term storage. Pickled cabbage will keep for several months when stored in the fridge.
When it comes to storing cabbage, the key is to keep it cool and dry. Cabbage that is stored in a warm, humid environment will spoil more quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know If Red Cabbage Is Bad?
To tell if red cabbage is bad, check the color of the cabbage. If it is starting to turn brown, it is beginning to go bad. The texture of the cabbage may also change, becoming mushy or slimy. If there is any mold growing on the cabbage, it should not be eaten.
If you’re unsure if your red cabbage is still good, smell it. If it smells sour or rotten, it is bad and should be thrown out.
How Long Does Bagged Shredded Cabbage Last?
Bagged shredded cabbage will last for about 3 to 5 days in the fridge. If you’ve purchased pre-shredded cabbage, it’s best to use it within a few days for the freshest flavor.
You can extend the shelf life of your cabbage by storing it properly. Be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place, and keep it tightly sealed in a plastic bag.
Should You Wash Cabbage?
Washing cabbage is also a good idea if you’re cooking it, as it can remove any dirt or pesticides that may be on the surface.
If you’re using cabbage in a raw dish, like coleslaw, it’s important to wash it first. Cabbage can be contaminated with harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. To avoid this, rinse the cabbage under cold water before chopping or shredding it.
What Happens When You Put Salt on Cabbage?
Adding salt to cabbage and keeping it for a few minutes will make it wilt. The salt pulls water out of the cabbage leaves, making them limp and wilted. But after you wash off the salt, the cabbage will bounce back and be as crisp as ever.
This is a useful technique if you’re trying to soften cabbage for cooking. If you’re making coleslaw or other raw dishes, however, you’ll want to avoid adding salt, as it will make the cabbage too soft.
Now that you know how to tell if cabbage is bad and how to store it properly, you can enjoy this healthy vegetable without worry. So go ahead and add some cabbage to your next meal. Your taste buds will thank you!