Broccoli and Brassica oleracea italica,Broccoli Sprout Extract and its benefit.
- Botanical Description of Broccoli.
- Best of Broccoli:Cultivation and Propagation.
- Nutrition Facts and constituents of Broccoli.
- Origin and History of Broccoli.
- Properties,Edible Uses and Self-similarity Vegetable Broccoli.
- Applications of Broccoli.
- Broccoli Dosage and Administration.
- Modern Researches of Broccoli.
- Research Update:Brassica oleracea,Broccoli Sprout,Sulforaphane GS.
Origin and History of Broccoli.:
Broccoli is a form of cabbage, the Brassica oleracea capitata DC., or Brassica oleracea conica (H), of the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. It is a fast-growing, upright, branched, annual plant, 60-90 cm tall that is prized for its top crowns of tender, edible, green flower buds. Its thick, green stalks are edible too. It is native to Italy.
Broccoli and cauliflower are two derivatives of cabbage, both selected for their edible, immature flower heads. Broccoli is grown for the clustered green (or purple) flower buds that are picked before they open and eaten raw or cooked. The cauliflower head is a cluster of aborted, malformed flower buds that stopped developing in the bud stage. Cauliflowers come in white, lime green and purple varieties.
In Great Britain the term broccoli refers to the cauliflower (Brassica oleracea, Botrytis group). Native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, sprouting broccoli was cultivated in Italy in ancient Roman times and was introduced into England about 1720 and to America probably in colonial times.
Broccoli has two different distinct forms. One is " sprouting broccoli ," which makes a somewhat branching cluster of green flower buds atop a thick, green flower stalk, and smaller clusters that arise like "sprouts" from the stems. This form, called "calabrese" in Britain, is the most commonly grown form in the United States. The other type of broccoli makes a dense, white "curd" like that of cauliflower and is called "heading broccoli" or "cauliflower broccoli." This latter form is usually grouped with cauliflower, leaving the term "broccoli" restricted to sprouting varieties.
Like the other close relatives of cabbage, broccoli is native to the Mediterranean area and Asia Minor. It has been popular in Italy since the days of the Roman Empire. However, records indicate this vegetable was unknown in England until a relatively recent few hundred years ago. It has become popular in the United States only during this century.
It thrives in moderate to cool climates and is propagated by seeds, either sown directly in the field or in plant beds to produce transplants. Broccoli grows to about 0.75 m high, and reaches harvest in 60 to 150 days, depending upon the variety and the weather. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees. The plant can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
The flavor of broccoli resembles that of cabbage but is somewhat milder. Fresh broccoli should be dark green in color, with firm stalks and compact bud clusters. Only one type of broccoli is generally found in markets, but a few close relatives of this vegetable are also available. Broccoli rabe has thinner stalks and is leafier, with smaller bunches of buds. It has a stronger, more bitter flavor, and all of the plant, including its leaves, is edible. Broccolini is a new vegetable that looks just like regular broccoli except that the stalks are delicate, with thin stems; the flower buds are also smaller.
Broccoli is available frozen and is sometimes included in frozen vegetable mixes.
Broccoli is available year-round but is a cool-weather vegetable that is best between January and March. Spring broccoli should be harvested in the early morning, because it wilts very rapidly in the sun. The broccoli head should be cut before the flower buds open. If the buds begin to open and the yellow flower petals begin to show, the head is over-mature and unfit for market. Cut the heads with a length of 23 to 25 cm from the base of the stem to the top of the head. The central heads vary from 6 to 12 cm in diameter. Light frosts do not hurt broccoli appreciably; therefore, harvest in the fall generally continues until the first freeze.
History and Uses:
Broccoli is a dark green vegetable of the cruciferous family, which also includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. It is rich in fiber, beta-carotene and vitamins C and K. Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals which help create immune and antioxidant support in the body by inducing enzymes that are involved in detoxifying carcinogens to flush them out of the body. These important enzymes include quinone reductase and glutathione S-transferase, with sulforaphane as the major and potent enzyme induced. Broccoli is an important source of Vitamin K, which helps to resist malignant diseases of the stomach and colon.
Roman references to a cabbage family vegetable that may have been broccoli are less than perfectly clear: the Roman natural history writer, Pliny the Elder, wrote about a vegetable which might have been broccoli. Some vegetable scholars recognize broccoli in the cookbook of Apicius.
Broccoli was certainly an Italian vegetable, as its name suggests, long before it was eaten elsewhere. Its first mention in France is in 1560, but in 1724 broccoli was still so unfamiliar in England that Philip Miller's Gardener's Dictionary (1724 edition) referred to it as a stranger in England and explained it as "sprout colli-flower" or "Italian asparagus". In the American colonies, Thomas Jefferson was also an experimentative gardener with a wide circle of European correspondents, from whom he got packets of seeds for rare vegetables such as tomatoes, noted the planting of broccoli at Monticello along with radishes, lettuce, and cauliflower on May 27, 1767. Nevertheless, broccoli remained an exotic in American gardens. In 1775, John Randolph, in A Treatise on Gardening by a Citizen of Virginia, felt he had to explain about broccoli:
The stems will eat like Asparagus, and the heads like Cauliflower.
1775, John Randolph, in A Treatise on Gardening by a Citizen of Virginia
During the sixteenth century, Broccoli was grown in Italy and France, but was not grown commercially in the United States until the 1920s. The word, broccoli, is derived from the Italian, brocco, meaning arm or branch.Broccoli is said to contain as much calcium, ounce for ounce, as milk. By supplementing regularly with Broccoli, you may reduce your risk for such ailments as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and malignant diseases of the colon, rectum and prostate.
Commercial cultivation of broccoli in the United States can be traced to the D'Arrigo brothers, Stephano and Andrea, immigrants from Messina, Italy, whose company made some tentative plantings in San Jose, California in 1922. A few crates were initially shipped to Boston where there was a thriving Italian immigrant culture in the North End. The broccoli business boomed, with the D'Arrigo's brand name "Andy Boy" named after Stephano's two-year-old son, Andrew, and backed with advertisements on the radio.
A cross between broccoli and cauliflower, the broccoflower,also known as Romanesco,was first cultivated in Europe around 1988. It has very pale green heads densely packed like cauliflower, but with the flavor of broccoli.
In the wild, the Brassica oleracea plant is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, and is somewhat similar in appearance to a leafy canola plant. Sometime, soon after the domestication of plants began, people in the Mediterranean region began growing this first ancient "cabbage" plant as a leafy vegetable. Because leaves were the part of the plant which were consumed, it was natural that those plants with the largest leaves would be selectively propagated for next year's crop. This resulted in large and larger-leafed plants slowly being developed as the seed from the largest-leafed plants was favoured. By the 5th century B.C., continued preference for ever-larger leaved had led to the development of the vegetable we now know as kale. Kale is known botanically by the name Brassica oleracea variety acephala which translates to mean "cabbage of the vegetable garden without a head."
- 1.Broccoli and Brassica oleracea italica,Broccoli Sprout Extract and its benefit.
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