There are over 400 different varieties of cabbage grown throughout the world, from round to conical in shape; with flat or curly, tight, or loose leaves; and in green, white, red, and purple colors. Out of the hundreds of varieties, however, only a few make their way to the American grocery store produce section, those being the green, red (or purple), Savoy, and Napa cabbage varieties.
Looking similar to a head of iceberg lettuce, green cabbage is the most common variety. The outer leaves range from dark to pale green while the inside is pale green or white. When raw, its texture is somewhat rubbery and its flavor kind of peppery but once cooked, the green cabbage softens and takes on a sweeter taste. You want to choose heads that are heavy in the hand and with tightly bound leaves. Before using, discard the outer wilted leaves.