Chinese cabbageChinese cabbage has been cultivated for over six thousand years in China. Brassica rapa seeds have been found in jars in the excavated New Stone Age settlement of Banpo. They were a common part of the diet in southern China by the 5th century. The Ming Dynasty pharmacologist Li Shizhen studied the Chinese cabbage for its medicinal qualities. Before this time the Chinese cabbage was largely confined to the Yangtze River Delta region. The Chinese cabbage as it is known today is very similar to a variant bred in Zhejiang around the 14th century. During the following centuries, it became popular in northern China and the northern harvest soon exceeded the southern one. Northern cabbages were exported along the Grand Canal to Zhejiang and as far south as Guangdong.
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