Cauliflower Question

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Thu Jul 8 22:36:11 EST 1999

At 9:54 AM -0400 7/7/99, Elaine M. Shea wrote:
>You can add sage blossoms to the list.  They add color and wonderful flavor
>to sauces and salads.
>I was always taught that cauliflower is a trick question.  What we eat is
>not actually a flower at all, but a proliferation of stem tissue which will
>flower eventually (in a second season?).  Can someone set me straight?

Hi Elaine!

The "good" part of both fresh cauliflower and broccoli are flower buds that
will open in just a few days if left attached to the plant (or sometimes
even if the cut head is placed in a shallow pan of water at room
temperature!). But, indeed, if you by "cheap" brands of frozen broccoli or
cauliflower "cuts" or "spears" they have packaged up mostly the stem. When
you by better brands and/or "florets" you get a higher percentage of flower
buds in the package. Of course for the best of either of these coles I
recommend cooking fresh heads from your own garden or from a farmer's
market.  The flavor difference is AMAZING!

If you think of broccoli as "little trees" then the trunks are all stem and
the "leaves" are the flower buds. They are a darker green in color after
cooking than is the stem. The dark green parts of each flower are the four


Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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