Cabbage’s Murderous, Booze-Soaked Past

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Cabbage is undoubtedly the vegetable most likely to need therapy. According to a Greek myth, when King Lycurgus of Thrace learned that Dionysus, the god of wine, was loitering on his turf, he drove the tipsy god away. But Lycurgus’s brazenness backfired—antagonizing a drunk god will do that—and Dionysus cursed him with temporary insanity.

In the throes of madness, the king began destroying any vine he saw (vines being the symbol of Dionysus). But blinded by the spell, he mistook his own son for one and hacked the boy to pieces. When the king regained his senses, he wept. As his tears hit the earth, they became the first cabbages.

Thanks to this elaborate story, the Greeks believed “a natural antipathy” existed between cabbages and vines. In fact, it became tradition to munch cabbage before a night of carousing to preempt the next morning’s hangover. Sounds like an excuse to try the coleslaw!