Swamp Cabbage (note them caps please, we're now talkin' Old Florida formal-like) is quite a local treat from Southern Florida. It's basically a warm cabbage-like dish made from the heart of the Sabal Palm tree. Recipes abound, but the best versions have this in common: essentially you cut down a mid-life Sabal Palm tree and cut out the heart of palm fruit meat. A market-fresh one or canned will not do
. You chop up the meat into cubes, combine with water, spices, onions, garlic (and such), add them tomatoes and chunks of fresh corn, then simmer the whole mess on an open wood file in a big kettle for many hours, outside. Some versions have pork, chicken, gator or exotic
meats or game too. It's big work, usually takin' two days minimum. It's a big mess. It's a big batch item. It's really good. I had to see it and do it to believe it.
And it's not a trailer trash item. Dawn's female cousins have requested it made for them for their wedding receptions, it's always personally made by their Father and Uncles. It's that kind of thing. Ignore any recipe which includes canned or bottled ingredients, except of course, beer for the cook team.
We serve this alongside our baked beans. Yeeeee-hooooo, it's a good meal. Ahem, back to SoCal speak now.
"No one can possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time."
James A. Baldwin