Cauliflower is actually the inflorescence of a type of cabbage. Last but not least, the decorative appearance lets it show off in cauliflower dishes or as a side dish. The blossom-white florets can also impress with their mild taste, which is only vaguely reminiscent of cabbage.

Things to know about cauliflower

The cruciferous vegetable originally came from Asia Minor, but has been cultivated throughout Europe since the 16th century. Accordingly, cauliflower recipes are an integral part of the menu in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. Cauliflower soups or cauliflower as a side dish are widespread, but the vegetable is also often found in main dishes. Cauliflower Polish is served with egg and roasted bread, cauliflower gratinated with spicy cheese and a cauliflower casserole with ham and cream is a real delicacy for many. Since cauliflower is low in calories, it is often found on the ingredient list of diet recipes and is said to help with weight loss. In Germany, the blossom-white cabbage is particularly in demand, as it does not receive any sunlight and therefore its bleaching due to the heads being crushed with the leaves. This is done manually or through breeding that grows accordingly. Green, yellowish and violet varieties are also common in other countries.

Purchasing and storage

Cauliflower is available all year round, in Germany it is in season from May to October. The range of outdoor produce is greatest in the summer months. When buying, make sure that the leaves are still tight and not wilted, the florets should be firm and not discolored. An intense smell of cabbage indicates old goods. To store the cauliflower, place the whole head in the crisper of the refrigerator – it will stay fresh there for about four to five days. If you want to freeze the cauliflower, you should divide it into individual florets and blanch them.

Cooking tips for cauliflower

You can boil, steam, bake, fry cauliflower or eat it raw in a salad. Our cooking expert gives you the best tips for preparing cauliflower, from the right cooking time to tricks on how to avoid bitter notes. By the way, a little lemon juice or vinegar in the cooking water ensures that the florets stay nice and white. Since its own taste is very mild, cauliflower tolerates intensive spices. Nutmeg, curry and pepper harmonize very well with the vegetables. Spicy cheeses such as Appenzeller are ideal for a cauliflower gratin. Our cauliflower soup with shrimp is always a good idea.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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