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Long frowned upon as poor people's food, Savoy cabbage is experiencing a true renaissance today. Although not entirely unknown, but still leading to ambiguity, is the fact that cabbage can not only be cooked, but also eaten raw without any problems. This not only applies to white and red cabbage, but also to savoy cabbage. We have summarized for you in this article what you should consider when eating raw savoy cabbage and thus clarify the question - Can you eat savoy cabbage raw or is it poisonous?


Savoy cabbage (Brassica oleracea convar. capitata var. sabauda) belongs to the cabbage family and is very healthy. It contains many vitamins and at the same time only a few calories. Savoy cabbage is one of the oldest types of cabbage. It has been developed from wild cabbage over the course of centuries of breeding with a slightly loose head. It is characterized above all by its blistered leaves. By nature, savoy is actually a biennial plant. In the first year it forms the cabbage and in the second year a flower.


Like most cabbages, savoy is mostly used for cooking. You can also eat it raw in salads or use it in a smoothie. Those who are a little sensitive to cabbage when raw should blanch it lightly so that it is easier to digest. Savoy cabbage can be harvested before it forms a firm head. The first savoy cabbage leaves are particularly tender and mild and are ideal for fresh salads.

Edible parts of plants

The edible part of savoy is actually a terminal bud made up of many intersecting leaves in a rosette. The leaves of the head of cabbage are arranged somewhat more loosely than those of white or red cabbage and are wavy. With cabbages from your own garden, in which you work without pesticides, you will not only find some dirt, but sometimes a few insects, caterpillars or snails. It is therefore important to wash the cabbage leaves thoroughly before eating. Especially if the savoy is eaten raw and not used for cooking. Remove the outer leaves because the fresh green interior is particularly tender.


Savoy cabbage is a classic fall and winter vegetable, although it can also be grown early in the year. There are a wide variety of varieties, of which the middle and early varieties can be planted outdoors as early as April to May. Late savoy cabbage varieties only move into the bed around August or September and can be overwintered there without any problems, since the cabbage, in contrast to most other types of cabbage, survives frosts down to -10 degrees well. Savoy cabbage can be harvested almost all year round. With the right technology, the harvest time for savoy can also be specifically extended. If you cut the savoy leaves from the outside in with a sharp knife and do not injure the heart of the head, it will always form new, strong leaves so that multiple harvests are possible.

buy savoy cabbage

If you don't have your own vegetable garden, you can buy savoy cabbage in shops and markets almost all year round. The mild early savoy is available from May, later in the year as autumn or permanent or winter savoy. The mild and very tender early savoy cabbage is particularly suitable as raw food. When you buy the savoy cabbage, the leaves should look fresh and crisp, the interface should still be juicy and not already very dry. A good sign of freshness is that the head of savoy opens easily and rustles slightly when you shake it. If you have dark spots and other discolorations, sagging leaves or a severely dried-up or foul-smelling cut surface, you should refrain from buying it. Especially when the cabbage is to be eaten raw, it is advisable to opt for organic quality so that there are no fertilizer residues or pesticides on it.


Savoy cabbage can easily be stored in the refrigerator or in a cool cellar for a few days. Assuming it's fresh. Savoy cabbage harvested early in the year does not keep quite as long as autumn or winter savoy. It should therefore only be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. If you grow the cabbage in your own garden, it is best to leave it in the bed for as long as possible. Savoy cabbage is not sensitive to cold and can withstand temperatures down to -10 degrees without damage. If you store the cabbage in the refrigerator, make sure there is no fruit nearby. This would accelerate decay.

  • own cultivation: about 7 days in the refrigerator
  • over 14 days in a cool cellar room
  • pack them in boxes or wrap them loosely in newspaper
  • a few weeks in a rental
  • Store-bought heads: about 3-5 days in the fridge
  • early varieties: about three days

If the cabbage is stored in the fridge for at least two days before eating, it will be easier to digest. This is because substances that are difficult to digest are converted into sugars that are easier to break down in the cold.

Prepare storage

If you intend to store the savoy for a long time, you should prepare the cabbage accordingly. It starts with the right harvest. In order to be able to store it for as long as possible, the head must be harvested completely.

  • use a clean, sharp knife
  • cut just above the ground
  • remove dirty, pitted or wilted leaves
  • Collect pests such as caterpillars or snails
  • do not wash

Eat stalk?

It is often recommended to cut out the stalk of the savoy before processing. This has nothing to do with the fact that it is hardly digestible or even poisonous. On larger or older savoy heads, the middle part from which the leaves grow is quite hard, bitter and fibrous. Smaller savoy cabbage heads can be eaten raw whole.

flowering plants

In principle, you can still eat the savoy cabbage when it has already shot. Shooting means that it forms a flower. In this case, the shape of the head is lost and leaves can taste a little bitter. However, the cabbage is not incompatible or poisonous when it blooms.

feeding to animals

Although small animals, especially guinea pigs and rabbits, usually tolerate savoy cabbage in small quantities, you should avoid feeding it to other animals. Although the vegetable is not poisonous for these animal species, it can lead to strong outgassing in sensitive animals.

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