Though demure in looks, the mighty cauliflower packs a nutritional punch. They’re in prime season for us right now and you’re going to love how these babies will help keep you healthy as the weather changes.Cauliflower find themselves in the brassica family right next to some of our favourite crops: broccoli, cabbage, Brussles sprouts, kohlrabi and kale. They are one of our favourite brassicas because they’re such a beautiful, hearty veggie. We grow 5 different varieties of cauliflower and watching these vibrant heads grow in the field is nothing short of amazing.
(not pictured is our green cauliflower variety: panther)Bishop
Bishop and Snowcrown are our two white/typical cauliflower varieties. They produce beautiful tight cauliflower heads that stay crisp and fresh long after they’re picked. Our green cauliflower variety, Panther, has similar characteristics and taste to Bishop and other than its vibrant green colour, you won’t find many differences between them.
Do we really have to explain why we grow Graffiti? I mean, look at it. It’s beautiful and ranges in tone from deep purple to mauve. The heads retain (and even deepen) their colour when roasted and make for an incredible addition to any plate.Cheddar
Despite it’s name, Cheddar does not really have a cheesy taste. However, it does have an amazing history. Discovered growing wild in the Brandford Marsh (north of Toronto) in 1970, this variety has been perfected over the past 45 years into the beautiful, full headed veggie you see on our market tables today. It has a particularly creamy and sweeter taste than our other varieties.Orbit
Orbit is by far our most unique cauliflower. First documented in Italy and often called a Romanesco, this variety is the most crunchy of all our cauliflowers and has a flavour that is much more subtle. The most striking thing about Orbit is its fractal structure and if you’re into math, this is the veggie for you!
While it’s growth pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually ends as it matures, the number of spirals on any given Orbit is a Fibonacci number. For real. For those of us who are not mathematicians (yes, we’re also in that group), a Fibonacci number is a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers (i.e. 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc).
If you want to learn more about Fibonacci numbers, the golden ratio and how it’s appearance in this veggie is absolutely incredible, you can do so here.Why you should eat more cauliflower…
With the weather beginning to change (don’t fight it, we’ve been loving these cooler nights), we’ve been seeing a lot more colds going around. Want to help boost your immune system? Eat cauliflower. 100g of cauliflower has a whopping 77% of your daily Vitamin C needs, not to mention it’s only 25 calories.How to eat more cauliflower…
Baked, roasted, boiled, steamed, fried, raw – you can eat cauliflower pretty much any way you can imagine. Its prevalence across the world means it shows up on the tables of many cultures and is a endlessly flexible veggie. Whether you’re feeling in the mood for an Indian curry, an southern USA fritter, a Manchurian roast or an Italian alfredo, this veggie can mould to your needs.
Need more specific inspiration? Check out this Huffington Post article hyping the flavour of cauliflower dishes they’re dying to try.
NOTE: Despite their hardiness, cauliflower heads are delicate in that, the more they’re handled and exposed to air, the more oxidation occurs on their florets. This oxidation takes the form of dark spots that appear on the head (see the photo of Bishop above for reference). These dark spots are simply the cauliflower’s reaction to air after its protective leaves have been removed. It is perfectly safe to eat and in fact, does not effect the flavour at all.
While you may not see this happening to cauliflower on grocery store produce shelves, here at Riverbend we don’t spray our cauliflower with any kind of wax or preservatives to keep it looking “fresh”. We think this trade off is well worth it.