At Menu Fresh our expert Buyers choose a product of the month – the Buyers Choice! We then share with you some interesting facts about this product which you probably never knew, which may one day help you in that pub quiz you’ve been struggling on! This month it’s Romanesco!
Romanesco is also known as Romanesco Broccoli, Fractal Broccoli, or Roman Cauliflower. Is it Broccoli or is it cauliflower? Well, it’s a hybrid of both, part of the Brassica genus (cruciferous vegetables), like Brussels Sprouts, Kale and Cabbage.
Romanesco is green, or chartreuse, if you are looking for a more descriptive colour guide. Each spire-like floret looks identical and they get smaller in size towards the stalk. Romanesco is probably most mathematicians’ favourite vegetable as the florets appear in a logarithmic spiral resembling a fractal: a geometric curve with a repetitive pattern. What’s more the number of spirals on one head of Romanesco, it is a Fibonacci number a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers e.g. 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8…
Who knew you’d be getting a maths lesson as well as a tasty, healthy vegetable tip?
How to select Romanesco
As with similar brassicas you are looking for a bright colour with no spots or discolouration and a firm stem. The head should be dense, and firm, and check that the leaves are not wilted.
How to use Romanesco
In many cases Romanesco can be used as you would Cauliflower or Broccoli, although it has its own distinct nutty flavour. You can combine it with broccoli or cauliflower in any recipe that requires them, but it is a shame not to showcase its amazing shape. A quick splash of cold water after cooking will preserve the colour and form.
Romanesco shelf life
It can last a week if refrigerated but it is best to use by day two after delivery. Don’t wash or prepare Romanesco before use, it’s best to prepare directly before cooking to preserve the shape and colour.