Cauliflower and its superfood cabbage family kin were all derived
from colewort, an ancient, loose-leafed wild cabbage that still grows
wild in coastal Europe.
Colewort budsbecame Brussels sprouts, its flowers became broccoli and cauliflower, its leavesbecame kale and collard greens, its stem was transformed into kohlrabi and its rootturned into the turnip.
Cauliflower is composed of immature, unopened flower buds called “curds”. When the florets begin growing, farmers wrap each head of white cauliflowers in its own leaves and secure the foliage with rubber bands or twine to shade it from the sun.
This “blanching” technique preserves the whiteness of the curds. The head swells and sweetens in the cocoon of its leaves until it is harvested. Self-blanching cauliflower varieties have leaves that fold over the heads without assistance. Orange and purple cauliflowers do not require this parasol approach.