People have been eating cabbage as long as they’ve known of its existence, but it was never considered a truly sought-after food in the United States until recently. As Americans have imported more and more international cuisines, we’ve discovered the joy of traditional recipes based around the veggie, like kimchi, sauerkraut, steamed dumplings, stewed cabbage, and lo mein, Werth says. We also have a lot more varieties of cabbage to choose from on the average grocery shelf, adding to its culinary flexibility. “Many of these recipes use fermented cabbage which provides healthy probiotics,” she adds.
Around 1900, oysters were so plentiful that their shells were used to pave Pearl Street in New York City (which explains the name); people ate them daily as a cheap source of protein. However, like the sturgeon, they quickly became overfished, to the point where they were considered functionally extinct in the New York harbor and other popular harvesting grounds. Scarcity means higher prices and a higher status so now, instead of being seen as the poor man’s beef, they’re prized as gourmet foods. “Oysters are a good source of zinc, which may explain why they are considered a sexual stimulant,” Mindell explains. “There may be some truth to that as men’s prostates are rich in zinc.”