Broccoli Garden Dreaming…

Romanesco broccoli or fractal broccoli is an e...

Image via Wikipedia

Romanesco broccoli, or Roman cauliflower, is an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea, and a variant form of cauliflower. Romanesco broccoli was first documented in Italy (as broccolo romanesco) in the sixteenth century. It is sometimes called broccoflower, but that name is also applied to green-curded cauliflower cultivars. Also known as coral broccoli, Romanesco broccoli is rich in vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids. The vegetable resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green color and the inflorescence (the bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli’s shape 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. Although in Italy there are a number of recipes dedicated to Romanesco broccoli, in the rest of the world it is usually prepared like conventional broccoli. Like conventional broccoli, overcooking Romanesco will result in a texture some people find unpleasant. The texture is more tender than cauliflower, making it suited to raw use as crudités. The head of Romanesco broccoli is a visually striking example of an approximate fractal in nature. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. In computer graphics, its pattern has been modeled as a recursive helical arrangement of cones. I plan to plant these like you would small shrubs for landscaping. This is a good example how edible landscaping can be achieved. Wandering through Menard’s and finding a good sale..oh the possibilities. Science, math, and heirloom vegetables cross to make an interesting start to the year.

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