Food, Photography and Lifestyle Blog

Romanesco Cauliflower, or Broccoli?

Source: Wikipedia &

A Fractal Vegetable, Romanesco Cauliflower

A Fractal Vegetable, Romanesco Cauliflower



Images: Marco Veringa


Romanesco broccoli is an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea and a variant form of cauliflower. Romanesco broccoli was first documented in Italy (as broccolo romanesco) in the sixteenth century. It is sometimes called broccoflower, but that name is also applied to green-curded cauliflower cultivars. It is also known as coral broccoli. It is rich in vitamin Cfiber, and carotenoids.

The vegetable resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green color and the inflorescence (the bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. These odd characteristics are often a delight of math-minded persons, who dubbed the vegetable terms like “fractal food”.

Looks aside, romanesco is delicious. Its flavour is somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower, with a sweet, vegetal nuttiness – and it’s bereft of the slightly bitter edge cauliflower can have. Apparently, children tend to like it for this very reason.


According to USDA nutritional information, green cauliflower provides extra vitamin A and slightly more vitamin C than basic white. Orange cauliflower has higher levels of beta carotene, and purple is an effect of anthocyanin, which may help prevent heart disease. All cauliflower is low in calories and rich in vitamins C and K, folate, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, riboflavin, and thiamine. And like other cruciferous vegetables, it may help prevent some types of cancer.

And if this wasn’t all interesting enough here is a link really interestingly talking all about fractal food, featuring Romanesco!


5 responses

  1. hi, do you know where i can find this in hong kong? i need it for my gcse art project 🙂 thanks! lydia

    March 30, 2010 at 11:19 am

    • cosmopolitanblog

      Ziggy’s fine foods, Great Food Hall, Citysuper…..but its a autumn food.

      what is a GCSE art project?

      March 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm

  2. Very colorful cauliflower and broccoli.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:05 am

  3. great photo….
    good info about broccoli and cauliflower

    June 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

  4. Where I live it is called Romanesco Cauliflower, and while a brassica is not considered a broccoli, but a true cauliflower. If you look closely at any cauliflower, you will see the same spiral patterns, but they are more subtle because they lack the points. That is they are more rounded.

    I don’t really find it to taste like broccoli, but a more flavorful, slightly nutty cauliflower

    October 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

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