Freshly picked cabbages waiting to be taken to market
Although the more lettuce-like Chinese cabbage is more common, the hard-headed type of cabbage is also seen in the markets. Although the cabbage probably originated in Asia, it wasn't until after the Celts introduced it to Europe that the hard-headed variety was developed, sometime during the middle ages. Cabbage was definitely known to the Egyptians, who would eat large quantities of the vegetables before a night of drinking in the belief that it would allow them to drink more without feeling the effects. The Greeks and Romans apparently believed that cabbages could cure just about any ailment. For their part, traditional Thai wisdom has it that cabbages are a powerful aphrodisiac, hence the unusual name of one of Bangkok's popular restaurants, Cabbages & Condoms, which is run by the Population Development Association.