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Definition: broccoli from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(brŏk'Әlē) [Ital.,=sprouts], variety of cabbage grown for the edible immature flower panicles. It is the same variety (Brassica oleracea botrytis) as the cauliflower and is similarly cultivated. Although known to the Romans, it became generally popular in the United States only in the 20th cent. Broccoli is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Capparales (or Brassicales), family Cruciferae (or Brassicaceae).

Summary Article: BROCCOLI
from Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia

Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family (Brassica oleracea Italica group), which is closely related to brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and kale. Broccoli is the head and flower and is used as a vegetable. Originating in Italy during ancient

Roman times, broccoli was commonly grown and consumed in England by the 18th century. English colonists brought broccoli to America, and it was grown in gardens in the Carolinas and Virginia before the American Revolutionary War. Broccoli was not commercialized until the early 20th century. It made national news in 1990 when President W. H. Bush proclaimed that “I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli” (“I'm President of the United States” 1990). California broccoli growers sent 10 tons of broccoli to the White House. The shipment was welcomed by Barbara Bush, who does like broccoli.

See also Brussels Sprout; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Collard Greens; Kale; Vegetables

  • Buck, P. A.Origin and Taxonomy of Broccoli.” Economic Botany 10(3) (1956): 250-253.
  • I'm President of the United States, and I'm Not Going to Eat Any More Broccoli.” People 33(14) (April 9, 1990),,,20117305,00.html.
  • Turgeon, Charlotte Snyder. Of Cabbages and Kings Cookbook: An Uncommon Collection of Recipes Featuring That Family of Vegetables Which Includes Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Collards, Turnips, Kale, and Kohlrabi. Curtis Publishing Indianapolis, 1977.
  • Copyright 2013 by Andrew F. Smith

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