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Other Names

Brassica oleracea / Brassica italica

French: Brocoli


Broccoli is low in calories while being a good source of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. It's not surprising, then, that this beneficial vegetable has been valued for centuries. It has been grown since antiquity around the Mediterranean - it was the Italians who perfected it by selecting cabbages with increasingly developed inflorescence. The innovator Catherine de Medici appreciated this new vegetable so much (as she did the artichoke) that she introduced it into France under the name "Italian asparagus" in the early 16th century. It gradually became an accepted part of the diet, included as an ingredient in many dishes and served as an accompaniment to meat and fish. Its Latin root means "branch." The Italian "brocco," meaning "shoot," eventually became "broccolo," or "broccoli" in the plural.

From the Italian "brocco" (shoot), from the Latin "broccolo."

General Information
Edible plant of the Cruciferae family, of which the fleshy floral sprouts are eaten.

According to Pliny, the Romans grew broccoli in the first century A.D. In the Middle Ages the word "broccoli" referred to suckers of the cabbage plant which were prepared as salad.


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