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

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

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Maddy June 2, 2023 at 3:01 am

I’m so excited to try Fioretto – Flowering Cauliflower! I can’t wait to see how it tastes!


Anita June 8, 2019 at 11:57 am

I love this stuff. I received it in my local farm share basket this week and had never seen it before. It’s so pretty, creamy yellow flowerettes. I had it for dinner last night and just made more for myself for lunch, that was all I ate. Just steamed with butter and a little parmesan. Yum.


Dorothy Reinhold June 8, 2019 at 5:42 pm

I love the simple way you made it. The best!


A fan March 21, 2018 at 7:13 pm

I will definitely keep an eye out for fioretto, and be so excited to recognize it if I do find it locally!


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet March 9, 2018 at 2:40 pm

I have to find this cauliflower and try it roasted! Sounds so good!


Dorothy Reinhold March 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm

You DO! I just pan-seared it and put lemon zest and squeeze of lemon on it, but I’m sure it will be AWESOME with a quick roast!


Catalina March 9, 2018 at 1:17 am

It is so cute and I am sure is so tasty! I need to try it!


Allyson Zea March 8, 2018 at 9:38 am

Wow I have never heard of this! I Wonder if they have it in our Asian markets?


Dorothy Reinhold March 9, 2018 at 9:32 am

That’s a good idea to look there, and it might be called Karifurore or stick cauliflower in those markets!


Dee March 8, 2018 at 7:12 am

I haven’t seen this around here yet, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for it!


Dorothy Reinhold March 8, 2018 at 9:29 am

It’s super new, so if you want, ask your produce manager to get it in for you. They will usually make an effort if they know people want something!


Des March 8, 2018 at 6:47 am

I will have to seek this out. I love cauliflower.


Dorothy Reinhold March 8, 2018 at 9:29 am

Then this will be right up your alley!


Jacque Hastert March 7, 2018 at 6:58 pm

I am going to have to give this a try!


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