Broccoli and its relatives: A primer

In the very half-Italian Pricola household, the foreigner (that is me) is frequently confused about the three vegetables that are part of the staples we eat frequently. Those three vegetables look somewhat alike. Broccoli is certainly a favorite for both of us; broccolini and rapini are also part of our vegetable routine. In this article, I will try to explain the differences of these vegetables, which are all part of the cabbage family.

Broccoli is an edible green plant with large flowering heads eaten as a vegetable. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccoli, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage,” and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “small nail” or “sprout.”

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