AskDefine | Define kohlrabi

Dictionary Definition



1 plant cultivated for its enlarged fleshy turnip-shaped edible stem [syn: Brassica oleracea gongylodes]
2 fleshy turnip-shaped edible stem of the kohlrabi plant [syn: turnip cabbage] [also: kohlrabies (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From the Kohlrabi, from Kohl (cabbage) + Rabi (turnip), from the cavoli rape, the plural of cavolo rapa (cole rape).


  • Hungarian: karalábé
  • Italian: cavolo rapa

Extensive Definition

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group) is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage that will grow almost anywhere. It has been selected for its swollen, nearly spherical, Sputnik-like shape. The name comes from the German Kohl ("cabbage") plus Rübe ~ Rabi (Swiss German variant) ("turnip"), because the swollen stem resembles the latter. Kohlrabi has been created by artificial selection for lateral meristem growth; its origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts: They are all bred from, and are the same species as, the wild cabbage plant (Brassica oleracea).
The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet. Except for the Gigante cultivar, spring-grown kohlrabi much over 5 cm in size tend to be woody, as do fall-grown kohlrabi much over perhaps 10 cm in size; the Gigante cultivar can achieve great size while remaining of good eating quality.
Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
There are several varieties commonly available, including White Vienna, Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Gigante (also known as "Superschmeltz"), Purple Danube, and White Danube. Coloration of the purple types is superficial: the edible parts are all pale yellow.
Some varieties are grown as feed for cattle.
kohlrabi in Danish: Kålrabi
kohlrabi in German: Kohlrabi
kohlrabi in Spanish: Colirrábano
kohlrabi in Esperanto: Tigobrasiko
kohlrabi in French: Chou-rave
kohlrabi in Icelandic: Hnúðkál
kohlrabi in Lithuanian: Kaliaropė
kohlrabi in Hungarian: Karalábé
kohlrabi in Dutch: Koolrabi
kohlrabi in Japanese: コールラビ
kohlrabi in Polish: Kalarepa
kohlrabi in Romanian: Gulie
kohlrabi in Russian: Кольраби
kohlrabi in Serbian: Келераба
kohlrabi in Finnish: Kyssäkaali
kohlrabi in Silesian: Ůberiba
kohlrabi in Vietnamese: Su hào
kohlrabi in Chinese: 苤藍
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