• Introducing Fioretto — Flowering Cauliflower

    by Dorothy Reinhold on March 6, 2018

    Print This Post Print This Post Flowering Cauliflower: There’s a new cauliflower in town, and it is drop-dead gorgeous! More tender, sweet and delicate than conventional cauli, this is like an edible bouquet of coral-like florets. AKA Fioretto, Stick Cauliflower, Biancoli, Karifurore, White Broccoli.

    There’s a new cauliflower in town, and it is drop-dead gorgeous! More tender, sweet and delicate than conventional cauli, this is like an edible bouquet of coral-like florets.

    What is flowering cauliflower?

    You’re probably familiar with ordinary cauliflower, which has a dense head of fused buds (the head of a cauliflower is called a “curd,” by the way). Flowering cauliflower has long, loose, thin, tender stems with tiny cream-colored florets. It resembles the baby’s breath (gypsophila) flowers used in a bridal bouquet, which makes flowering cauliflower kind of an edible bouquet! It looks like a cross between cauliflower and broccolini.

    Florets of Flowering Cauliflower arranged in a circle on ShockinglyDelicious.comWhat does flowering cauliflower taste like?

    It is sweeter, tender and more flavorful than traditional cauliflower. The tiny stems do not need to be peeled, and the entire plant, from stem to florets, can be eaten, so there is no stem waste.

    Flowering cauliflower goes by many names

    Floret of Flowering Cauliflower on ShockinglyDelicious.comIt goes by several names, depending on where you are.

    • Fioretto (the name in the U.S.)
    • Stick cauliflower (the name in Japan) or White stick cauliflower
    • Flowering cauliflower
    • Sweet sprouting cauliflower
    • Biancoli
    • Karifurore cauliflower (Japan)
    • Artisan Broccoli Spears (at Marks & Spencer’s in England)
    • White broccoli or Bianco broccoli

    Where did flowering cauliflower come from?

    It was first developed by a Japanese seed company, Tokito Seed, and in 2014 they were nominated for an innovation award for it. It is said that a Tokito employee wondered why they couldn’t have a cauliflower with a smaller amount of stem and a better flavor, so the company began trying to develop it. When successful, they named it Fioretto, which means “little flower” in Italian. It is in the brassica family, and is a cauliflower and broccoli hybrid. It is a hybrid cross, not GMO.

    Flowering Cauliflower bunches on ShockinglyDelicious.comHow do you prepare flowering cauliflower?

    Because it is so tender, flowering cauliflower is ready to eat or cook with without any prep work. It takes a bit of time to separate the florets from a conventional head, and there is no need for that with flowering cauliflower. You can eat it…

    • Raw on a crudités platter or in salad
    • Sautéed with a hint of butter and sea salt (simply sear it in a skillet)
    • Stir-fried quickly
    • Flash fried
    • Pickled
    • Used in tempura
    • I would not drench it in cheese sauce, since it is delicate, but it could take a sprinkle of grated Parmesan after a quick searing.

    FLowering Cauliflower Florets on ShockinglyDelicious.comNutritional benefits of flowering cauliflower

    Flowering cauliflower has similar nutritional benefits to conventional cauliflower and broccoli. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and fiber, and a good source of B6. The combined nutrients from Fioretto with a balanced healthy diet are said to help protect against heart disease, lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthen the immune system and maintain a healthy nervous system.

    Where can you buy flowering cauliflower?Fioretto Flowering Cauliflower package from Melissa's Produce

    It has been spotted at a few farmer’s markets here and there in the U.S., but is being introduced as Fioretto by Melissa’s Produce, the national distributor of specialty produce. Theirs is grown in Bakersfield, California, and sold in finer grocery stores. If you don’t see it in your produce section, ask the produce manager to get it in for you. It’s definitely worth it!

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    Flowering Cauliflower on ShockinglyDelicious.com

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    Disclosure: Melissa’s Produce sent samples of the flowering cauliflower for review.

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