You might have heard about White Broccoli but does it really exist? Time to find out the answers with all the details!
Do you have the curiosity to know more about White Broccoli? Well, time to uncover the truth! Read on!
Learn How to Grow Romanesco Broccoli here
Is There a White Broccoli?
White Broccoli isn’t recognized as a unique, specific variety of broccoli. The term may arise from misidentification or misunderstanding of cauliflower, which is indeed a white vegetable that resembles broccoli.
Broccoli and cauliflower belong to the same plant family (Brassicaceae) and even the same species (Brassica oleracea). Both are composed of tightly clustered florets attached to a central stalk, which may lead to some confusion between the two. The key difference lies in their color and the shape of their florets. Broccoli is typically green with tightly closed, bud-like florets, while cauliflower is usually white with a more open, ‘curd’-like structure.
The snowy color of cauliflower is a result of the plant’s leaves blocking sunlight and inhibiting chlorophyll production—a process known as blanching. Broccoli, on the other hand, is allowed to develop chlorophyll, giving it its green color.
That being said, there are many different cultivars of Brassica oleracea, leading to a wide range of colors and shapes. For instance, there are purple and orange cauliflowers, and romanesco broccoli with a striking fractal form.
If you come across “White Broccoli” at a market or in a recipe, it is most likely referring to cauliflower. If it’s actually broccoli that has turned snowy, it’s often an indication that it is past its prime, as broccoli can yellow and then turn a whitish color when it starts to spoil.
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Difference Between White Broccoli and White Sprouting Broccoli
As mentoned above, “White broccoli” is not a specific variety of broccoli recognized in horticulture. If broccoli is turning white, it’s often an indication that it is aging or decaying. Fresh one is typically green in color, and when it starts to turn yellow and then white, it’s often a sign that it’s past its prime and should be discarded.
On the other hand, White Sprouting Broccoli, a variety known as Brassica oleracea var. Italica ‘Albion’, is a specific cultivar that produces creamy white florets instead of the common green ones. Unlike common ones, which produces one large head, White Sprouting produces many smaller sprouts or side shoots, which are harvested and consumed.
White Sprouting Broccoli has a slightly milder and sweeter flavor than regular ones. It is a cool-season crop and typically harvested in the spring or early summer.