Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Daily Hump: Choppin' Broccoli

Broccoli has been a favorite vegetable of mine for years now. Whether steamed, raw or stir-fried it's one of the simple pleasures in life. My love stems from a number of factors including broccoli's taste, the auditory satisfaction I receive when crunching into a raw floret, and even broccoli's general aesthetic qualities--the deep green and bonzai-like complexity.

Despite its obvious Italian roots, the first mention of broccoli is in a mid-16th c. French text. It's possible Romans were cultivating the plant as far back as the 1st c. CE (a vegetable similar to broccoli is described by Pliny the Elder) but, at least in the New World, the vegetable was considered fairly exotic until commercial cultivation began in California in 1922.

In Italian the word broccoli is a plural form of broccolo, which is the flowering sprout of a turnip. The root brocco means shoot or stalk and is a direct descendant of the vulgar Latin *brocca meaning spike. In addition to broccoli, *brocca gives us such modern English words as broach (via the Latin broccus, projecting), brooch and brocade.

broccoli [OED]
broccoli [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:30 AM


Hmm, I wonder what I'll have for dinner tonight.
Blogger Loocite, at 8:00 PM  

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