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Fractal Broccoli.jpg
Romanesco, showing its self-similar form
Species Brassica oleracea
Cultivar group Botrytis cultivar group

Romanesco broccoli, also known as Romanesque cauliflower or simply as Romanesco, is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is chartreuse in color. Romanesco has a striking appearance because its form is a natural approximation of a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, its texture as a vegetable is far more crunchy, and its flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.


Romanesco was first documented in Italy (as broccolo romanesco, that is, "from Rome"). It is sometimes called broccoflower, but that name has also been applied to green cauliflower cultivars.


The Romanesco superficially resembles a cauliflower, but it has a visually striking fractal form

Romanesco superficially resembles a cauliflower, but it is chartreuse in color, and its form is strikingly fractal in nature. The inflorescence (the bud) is self-similar in character, with the branched meristems making up a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the bud's form approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number.[1]

As a vegetable, Romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and carotenoids.

The causes of its differences in appearance from the normal cauliflower and broccoli have been modeled as an extension of the preinfloresence stage of bud growth, but the genetic basis of this is not known.[2]


  1. ^ Ron Knott (30 October 2010). "Fibonacci Numbers and Nature". Ron Knott's Web Pages on Mathematics. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Martin Kieffer; Michael P. Fuller; Anita J. Jellings (July 1998). "Explaining Curd and Spear Geometry in Broccoli, Cauliflower and 'Romanesco': Quantitative Variation in Activity of Primary Meristems". Planta 206 (1): 34–43. doi:10.1007/s004250050371. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanesco_broccoli — Please support Wikipedia.
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211 news items

St. Cloud Times

St. Cloud Times
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:22:30 -0700

He's now experimenting with a cabbage/cauliflower cross called Romanesco broccoli, an apple orchard, plums and honey making. Jim even grows his own hops as part of a homebrewing hobby. A high tunnel allows Dancing Bears Co. to harvest cucumbers, ...

Modern Farmer

Modern Farmer
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:43:18 -0800

Did you notice the chartreuse, psychedelic spines of Romanesco broccoli during its very short season at the farmers market? If you looked closely, you would have seen just how remarkable this vegetable really is. Like a snowflake, this broccoli ...

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:18:54 -0700

A waitress once picked the menus off the table midservice and replaced them with newly printed ones that included a dish of charred romanesco broccoli with raisins. Is the pasta an afterthought? Probably, although it is all made in house, and some of ...

Vegas Seven

Vegas Seven
Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:07:30 -0700

Lemon verbena sorbet cleans the palate before another wave of seafood: pan-roasted New Bedford jumbo scallops with cauliflower mousse and Romanesco broccoli, and this course is paired with Moonen's own brew. Gone With the Wit is Moonen's first ...

Phoenix New Times (blog)

Phoenix New Times (blog)
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 06:10:48 -0700

Don't be surprised if Romanesco starts popping up on metro Phoenix menus. This crazy-looking vegetable is quickly becoming a farmers market favorite, and plenty of local growers would love to put it on your table. Here's a brief introduction to what it ...

Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine
Thu, 18 Jun 2015 06:03:58 -0700

Your farmer works hard to produce the romanesco broccoli and heritage pork that you need for that Rachel Ray recipe. Depending on the week she's had, your insensitive haggling will either make her a) spitting angry, or b) want to curl up in the fetal ...

Houston Press

Houston Press
Tue, 02 Jun 2015 04:09:58 -0700

They're all good, and a few dishes are heavenly, like the grilled cauliflower that is so much more than the name indicates. It's a composed dish with not just run-of-the-mill white cauliflower but with purple and Romanesco broccoli in its funky ...

Washington City Paper (blog)

Washington City Paper (blog)
Fri, 12 Jun 2015 10:30:17 -0700

There will also be pastas, including cavatelli with chickpeas, squid, and roasted romanesco broccoli, as well as large plates that feed two to four people. (Big plates are the new small plates.) The family-style platters will include a Tuscan-style ...

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