Some people think that cauliflower is a genetically modified vegetable. And while it’s true that some people are worried about what they put into their bodies, there is no evidence whatsoever of any genetic manipulation in the creation and development of the cauliflower plant. This article will explain everything you need to know about this popular food.
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What Is Cauliflower, Anyway?
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) is an annual or biennial herbaceous flowering plant belonging to the cabbage family Brassicaceae. It has two small heads containing dense clusters of curds separated by green leafy sprouts. The name “broccoli” actually comes from the Italian word for broccoli which means little flower buds. Broccoli was originally cultivated as early as 400 B.C.E., but its cultivation didn’t become widespread until Roman times when Romans brought broccoli seeds with them across Europe and Asia.
The first person credited with growing cauliflower commercially was Swiss botanist Samuel Boissonnieu who grew it at his home near Geneva in 1749. He called the new variety “caulifere” meaning ‘flowered head’ referring to the flowers on top of each stem. In 1881, Belgian horticulturists Louis Van Houtte and Jean Baptiste Perrier named the species Brassica oleracea after French agricultural chemist Joseph Montpellier.
How did it get its common name?
Like other members of the brassicas group, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale, collard greens and turnips, cauliflower’s leaves have been used traditionally to treat digestive disorders such as nausea and constipation. Because of these medicinal properties, Native Americans gave it the nickname “potato cabbage.”
In North America, cauliflower is commonly seen in supermarkets alongside broccoli. But unlike most varieties of broccoli, cauliflower doesn’t come attached to large stalks. Instead, it grows loose like a single stalk of grass or corn. Its flavor can range from mild and sweet to bitter and spicy. Cauliflower tastes similar to broccolini—a hybrid created by crossing broccoli and Chinese cabbage around 100 years ago.
Is Cauliflower Man-Made?
There is plenty of controversy surrounding cauliflower. Some critics claim that since many crops were previously developed naturally through cross-pollination, scientists should not be allowed to manipulate genes. Others fear that because plants often share traits between generations due to convergent evolution, genetic engineering could introduce harmful mutations.
However, there is nothing unnatural about the way nature creates cauliflower. Scientists use traditional breeding techniques to create hybrids using specific combinations of genes. They then select desirable traits to breed more robust strains. There is also no scientific proof that genetically engineered foods pose greater risks than those produced organically. On the contrary, organic farmers produce healthier vegetables due to less pesticide exposure.
Here is a great recipe for Cauliflower
To prepare cauliflower, simply cut off the base of the stem where it attaches to the ground. Then snap off the bottom portion of the florets. Next, slice horizontally down the middle of the remaining part of the stem. Finally, separate the individual florets with your fingers. Discard the stem and chop up the rest of the head.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Coat pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to a medium saucepan over low heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic and pepper flakes and sauté 6-8 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain well. Transfer to bowl. Pour 2 cups chicken broth over quinoa. Toss gently until quinoa turns white. Cover and set aside 5 minutes. Uncover and let stand another 3 minutes or until liquid absorbs completely. Fluff quinoa with fork. Place quinoa on prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle quinoa with additional teaspoon of olive oil. Use tongs to spread evenly throughout pan. Roast 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly. Serve warm.
- While cauliflower cooks, melt butter/margherita cheese mix according to package directions. Brush melted mixture onto both sides of each piece of bread. Bake 10 minutes at 350°F. Flip pieces over and bake 7-10 minutes longer or until edges begin to crisp. Cut into quarters.
- For dressing, toss romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, black olives, red onions, feta, dill pickles, lemon juice and zest together in large salad bowl. Sprinkle generously with freshly cracked pepper and kosher salt. Just before serving, drizzled with vinaigrette and garnish with basil sprigs and Parmesan shavings.
- Top cauli rice with desired amount of pesto and serve immediately. Garnish with grated parmesan and oregano leaves. Enjoy!
Is cauliflower a real veggie?
Cauliflower belongs to the botanical family known as crucifers, which got its name from the way their four-petalled blossoms resemble a cross.
Is broccoli and cauliflower genetically modified?
To create broccoli and cauliflower, certain cabbages with bigger blossom buds were crossed with one another. Cauliflower subsequently turned white through further breeding and genetic modifications, and broccoli gained a long stem.
How did we make cauliflower?
Cauliflower was carefully cultivated from cabbage, the Brassica oleracea, similar to how broccoli was. The tops of broccoli and cauliflower come from cabbage that was bred for its tops. This implies that neither the head’s size nor shape were factors in its selection. Only the portion above ground was utilised.