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

Romanesco broccoli, Romanesco broccoli, Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, 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,[according to whom?] and its flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]


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]

Nutritionally, romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and carotenoids.[citation needed]

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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226 news items

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
Thu, 12 Nov 2015 08:07:30 -0800

Its look-alikes include Chinese broccoli (gai lan), baby broccoli, broccolini and the gorgeous, fractal romanesco broccoli. One thing that's often overlooked with broccoli of all types is that they taste just as good cooked until they're soft and ...

Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:41:15 -0800

The Hill Country Science Mill's fractalarium, built by San Antonians Hilal and Katri Hibri, combines art, math and biology in a sculpture of a Romanesco broccoli. The sculpture changes colors and is synched with music in one of the museum's silos. The ...
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thu, 12 Nov 2015 10:01:43 -0800

... parsnip chip and Chardonnay foam, served with Ashley's Chardonnay; pheasant with farrotto, pheasant confit and roasted brussels sprouts, with Ashley's Pinot Noir; dry-aged beef strip loin with purple potato puree, charred parsnip, Romanesco ...

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 ...


Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:55:40 -0800

(One of the six silos houses a “Fractalarium” – a mesmerizing room of crystals shaped like a Romanesco broccoli, that illustrates the Fibonacci growth sequence). They also use technology to “make the invisible visible,” for instance, in “Mindball” kids ...

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 ...


Wed, 18 Nov 2015 12:33:06 -0800

The days of vegetables as an afterthought are gone. I'm not saying menus have been flipped on their heads and you now have a choice between a steak au poivre and Romanesco broccoli for your main course. But the ubiquitous slab of animal protein that ...


Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:37:22 -0700

The spirals follow the same logarithmic pattern). The Romanesco (sometimes called Romanesco Broccoli or Roman Cauliflower) did not always exist in nature. Many botanists believe it was the result of selective breeding by Italian farmers in the 16th ...

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