General Information: Broccoli probably developed in Italy, and gained culinary prominence in the 18th Century. It is actually an edible flower, but the stalks are also good to eat, as are the leaves, which contain the highest portion of vitamin A. A variety of broccoli often seen in Swiss markets is Romanesco, which has a conical chartreuse-colored head with spiraling flowerets. Several other varieties can be purchased locally, which are purple and resemble cauliflower.

Season: Available year around, but broccoli is actually a cool weather plant. The optimal time to purchase broccoli in Switzerland is between September and November. Look for Italian, German or Swiss product.

Purchasing Tips: The buds should be tightly closed and the leaves crisp. The color should be vivid green, with a possible tinge of purple. Avoid older products which have flowers, or appear limp. Fresh broccoli should not have a pronounced cabbage smell.

Storage: Refrigerate up to 4 days

Cooking Tips: Broccoli can be steamed or boiled. Cooked broccoli is excellent when sautéed in olive oil.

Nutritional Info: Excellent source for vitamins A & C, riboflavin, calcium and iron

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