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Romanesco broccoli (also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower, or simply Romanesco) is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy in the 16th century, it is chartreuse in color, and has a form naturally approximating a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, it has a firmer texture and delicate, nutty flavor.
Romanesco, showing its self-similar form
|Cultivar group||Botrytis cultivar group|
Romanesco superficially resembles a cauliflower, but it is chartreuse in color, with the form of a natural fractal. The inflorescence (the bud) is self-similar in character, with the branched meristems making up a logarithmic spiral, giving a form approximating 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 smaller levels. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number. Nutritionally, romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and carotenoids.
The causes of its differences in appearance from the normal cauliflower and broccoli have been modeled as an extension of the preinfloresence stage of bud growth, but the genetic basis of this anomaly is not known.
- Ron Knott (30 October 2010). "Fibonacci Numbers and Nature". Ron Knott's Web Pages on Mathematics. Archived from the original on 28 November 2018.
- Tufts Nutrition. "Tufts Nutrition Top 10". Tufts Nutrition Magazine. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
- Martin Kieffer; Michael P. Fuller; Anita J. Jellings (July 1998). "Explaining Curd and Spear Geometry in Broccoli, Cauliflower and 'Romanesco': Quantitative Variation in Activity of Primary Meristems". Planta. 206 (1): 34–43. doi:10.1007/s004250050371. S2CID 39949892.
- Media related to Romanesco broccoli at Wikimedia Commons
- The dictionary definition of Romanesco at Wiktionary
- Malatesta, M.; Davey, J.C. (1996). "Cultivar Identification Within Broccoli, Brassica Oleracea L. Var. Italica Plenck And Cauliflower, Brassica Oleracea Var. Botrytis L.". Acta Hortic. 407 (407): 109–114. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.1996.407.12.
- Fractal Food: Self-Similarity on the Supermarket Shelf (John Walker, March 2005)
- Procedural fractal 3-D generation of Romanesco broccoli with RenderMan (Aleksandar Rodić, 2009)