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Varieties of Broccoli

Broccoli dates back to ancient Rome, when it was developed from wild Broccoli, a plant that resembled collard greens more than the Broccoli that we are familiar with today. Its name comes from the Italian word ‘brachium’ which means branch. Varieties include:

Green Broccoli also known as Italian Green or Calabrese

This is the most popular variety of Broccoli and the one that is most commonly found in your local market. Named after the Italian province of Calabria where it first grew, it has light green stalks topped with clusters of dark green, purplish florets.


This is baby Broccoli and is the best type of Broccoli to serve raw. It is a cross between Broccoli and kale.


This is a cross between Broccoli and cauliflower, but it is more cauliflower than Broccoli.

Broccoli Raab

It has an intense flavor with pleasantly bitter and peppery highlights. Compared to Green Broccoli, it has more leaves, a larger stem and can be used in place of Green Broccoli in most recipes (see page xx for recipes).

Broccoli Sprouts

Sprouts from Broccoli seeds, they have recently become popular for their high concentration of health-promoting phytonutrients.

The Peak Season

Although Broccoli is available throughout the year, its peak season runs from October through May. These are the months when its concentration of nutrients and flavor are highest and its cost is at its lowest. Broccoli grown during the cold winter months is more tender and has a sweeter flavor.

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This page was updated on: 2005-01-27 19:43:26

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