Belongs to the family of cruciferous or brasicaceae, along with cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, radishes, watercress, arugula, turmeric, mustard or rapeseed. It is, in fact, an inflorescence incapable of producing true flowers, which is believed to have occurred since the fifteenth century.
Contrary to what is said, it is not a hybrid between cauliflower and broccoli, but a green variety of Italian cauliflower, which are the oldest. There are also cauliflowers of violet and yellow color, but none has that singular form.
- Anticholesterol. A soluble fiber, calcium pectate, very abundant also in carrots, contributes to control and to lower the level of blood cholesterol.
- Diuretics. Consuming romanesco may also benefit the kidneys because of its slightly diuretic and depurative effect of toxins.
- Anticancer. Glucosinolates, a compound that remains inactive until they react with the enzyme myrosinase, are abundant in this type of collard seed. They are then transformed into isothiocyanates, molecules of proven anti-cancer action that help the body to expel precursors of the disease, inhibit the cell division that gives rise to tumors and stimulate the death of cells already formed. For this reaction to occur, the novel must be cut, sliced or chewed. Cooking stops the formation of isothiocyanates, so it is not a bad idea to leave it a few minutes cut before.