A vegetable believed to have originated in southern Italy; broccoli has a long history of cultivation, in fact it was developed by the Romans from wild cabbage.
Choose broccoli with floret clusters that are compact, firm and evenly coloured. Broccoli with open flowers or yellow, wilted or bruised broccoli that is losing its buds should be avoided, as it is neither fresh nor tender. The outer leaves should be a deep green and the stems should be firm. Store broccoli in the crisper of the refrigerator where it will keep for days. Blanched and frozen broccoli will keep for up to a year at -17ºC. The different varieties of broccoli include the cauliflower broccoli, which is similar to cauliflower and the broccoflower, a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.