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

Romanesco, also known as Romanesque cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli, 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, as a vegetable its texture is far more crunchy, and its flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.


Romanesco was first documented in Italy (as broccolo romanesco). 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. ^ "Fibonacci Numbers and Nature". 
  2. ^ 'Explaining curd and spear geometry in broccoli, cauliflower and `romanesco': quantitative variation in activity of primary meristems. M. Kieffer, M. P. Fuller, and A. J. Jellings, Planta (July 1998), Volume 206, Issue 1, pp 34-43

External links[edit]

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

The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)

The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:23:59 -0700

I also helped determine the prices for foods uncommon to the community, like purple string beans, Romanesco broccoli, and Toscano Kale—all variations of commonly eaten foods with unfamiliar colors and textures. I'd explain to our customers the ...
Los Angeles Times
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:09:39 -0700

Restaurant project construction delays are nothing new for Los Angeles chefs. Appliances and materials get back ordered. Inspections take forever. The wait can be excruciating. Just ask fans of Gary Menes, who have been waiting for the opening of his ...

Highlands Today

Highlands Today
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:03:45 -0700

They will also feature fun varieties like cheddar cauliflower (it's yellow) and romanesco broccoli. By attending conventions, the farmers learn about varieties and techniques to incorporate into their business. For both Grunden, a Highlands County ...

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Sun, 05 Oct 2014 00:44:55 -0700

22, Wiers and her FFA members served roasted cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli, roasted root vegetables and raw carrots at lunch time. Dressed in their FFA blue jackets and new aprons, the students handed out containers of food, while one young man ...

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