Colorado Table

This Jan. 25, 2016 photo shows simple beer braised cabbage with bacon in Concord, N.H. The bacon is crisped up in a large, heavy pot, then some onions are quickly sauteed in a bit of the remaining fat. Then the cabbage is added, along with the beer of your choice, and in 30 minutes you have a dish that may be modest in cost and appearance, but quite grand in flavor. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Tenant farmers in the 17th century were forced to pay substantial rents to their landlords, so they relied heavily on crops of cabbage and potatoes to get them through the year. The more prosperous farmers also grew pigs, so they were able to season their vegetables with the pork parts that weren’t needed elsewhere. When the potato famine hit, cabbage became an even more critical food source.