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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 light green 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 light green in colour, 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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190 news items

Phoenix New Times (blog)

Phoenix New Times (blog)
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 06:07:30 -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 ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sat, 14 Mar 2015 07:00:33 -0700

I've cracked it! When you're stuck for what to cook, always turn to eggs. Thomasina Miers' romanesco broccoli and pecorino sformata: 'This dish is for when time and energy are not on your side.' Photograph: Johanna Parkin for the Guardian. Food styling ...

Healthy Eats (blog)

Healthy Eats (blog)
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:52:30 -0700

If you want to get more healthy greens in your diet but are burning out on kale, you're in luck: There are new greens in town. In general, green vegetables tend to be high in vitamins A, C and K, plus those in the cabbage family have phytochemicals ...

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 ...

New York Times

New York Times
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:14:23 -0700

BERKELEY, Calif. — Back in the '80s, I resented the existence of Meyer lemons and anyone who championed them. Those groovy Bay Area people would write recipes calling for Meyer lemons, as if anyone could find them, and insist that a regular lemon just ...

Montreal Gazette

Montreal Gazette
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:06:36 -0700

We enjoyed a filet of wild striped bass that was delicate and perfectly cooked, though I can't imagine why it was paired with both cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli. That's one brassica too many. My favourite of the mains was the fish tacos, two ...

The Detroit News

The Detroit News
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:45:00 -0800

Sometimes I use bitter broccoli rabe or Romanesco broccoli florets, sometimes Tuscan kale or baby spinach. You can add toasted bread crumbs to the mix if you're so inclined, they add a nice crunch and shaved Parmesan or pecorino is lovely on top.

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:27:32 -0800

A highlight of a recent meal was rösti with Romanesco broccoli and pecorino, a dish overshadowed only by three succulent meatballs smothered in sweet caramelized onions. The snug space seats only about a dozen, between one rough-hewed communal ...

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