Brassica oleracea var. italica
|Origin||Italy, more than 2,000 years ago|
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is an edible green plant in the cabbage family (family Brassicaceae, genus Brassica) whose large flowering head, stalk and small associated leaves are eaten as a vegetable. Broccoli is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has large flower heads, usually dark green in color, arranged in a tree-like structure branching out from a thick stalk which is usually light green. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli resembles cauliflower, which is a different, but closely related cultivar group of the same Brassica species.
It is eaten either raw or cooked. Broccoli is a particularly rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Contents of its characteristic sulfur-containing glucosinolate compounds, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane, are diminished by boiling, but are better preserved by steaming, microwaving or stir-frying.
- broccolo (rare)
- brocoli (archaic)
1699, Italian broccoli, plural of broccolo (“cabbage sprout, head”), diminutive of brocco (“shoot, sprout”) (which is also the origin of brocade), from Latin broccus (“pointed, sharp, projecting; buck-toothed”), possibly of Gaulish origin, related to Proto-Celtic *brokkos (“badger”) or Proto-Celtic *brozdos (...