Friday, January 18, 2013
Red cabbage is my reminder, today, of our deep-seated need to tend the flame of color, even as winter’s consuming breath tries to extinguish it from the landscape.
Could there be any vegetable color so rich, so passionate, as this lucid purple, this nearly perfect fusion of red and blue?
And color’s just the blush of wonder, for it so often resides in layers, revealed only to one who cares to see deeply, generously. Cabbage does not disappoint.
Thick pinnate veins suggest distinct leaves wrap the hefty sphere. Only the satisfying “chunk!” of cleaving reveals the true wonder of the layering—a compound spiral maze* of folded fetal forms.
Peel it and the leaves seem distinct, but when you trace one’s cross section, it looks for all the world like one continuous, wrapping sheet. Can you follow one leaf from fat center node all the way to its edge?
Is such beauty too good to eat? Perhaps, but for bringing still more senses to play in this game of appreciating everyday miracles. There’s cool, crunchy, slightly peppery wonder in that too.
*There are many types of spirals to be found in Nature. Red cabbage’s pattern is a compound spiral following what’s called the Fibonacci ratio, whose sequence runs 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13... (each subsequent number being the sum of the two preceding ones).
See more of Nature's spirals.