The Council of Agriculture yesterday unveiled the Taichung No. 2, its newly cultivated cabbage species, which can withstand summer heat and can be grown at low altitude.
The council’s Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station said that although cabbage is a popular vegetable, the environment in which it grows is limited to warm and chilly climates, so it is mostly grown in the winter and needs to be imported from overseas in the summer.
The majority of cabbage species grown in Taiwan at present are from Japan, and among them, the species of early-autumn cabbage has a high market share rate of 70 percent and has dominated the market for more than 50 years, the station said. However, the species is intolerant to heat and therefore has to be grown at high altitudes, it said.
In recent years, another species — cabbage 228 — has become the most heat-tolerant species in Taiwan, but its appearance and taste are not that good, the station added.
The new species has a bright, colorful appearance, fluffy leaves and tastes sweet, with fewer fibers, station director Chang Chih-sheng (張致勝) said.
“People will be refreshed and surprised when they take a bite of the new cabbage species, because it tastes very crispy, sweet and has a good texture, with fewer fibers,” Chang said.
More importantly, the Taichung No. 2 is more heat-resistant and can be grown on plains during the summer, and has a shorter growing period, of about 60 days in the summer and about 72 days in autumn and winter, he said.
Consumers may be able to purchase the cabbage as early as next summer, Chang added, saying the new species may lower costs and solve environmental issues.