Any types of cauliflowers are rich in nutrition and having a delicious taste, cauliflower has become a trendy ingredient to fulfill your daily dose of vegetables. Generally, cauliflower is classified as cruciferous veggies. It is a diverse group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, arugula, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, radishes, collards, and watercress.
To know well its health benefits, you need to learn more about cauliflower by knowing the different origins and types. You will find out that there will hundreds of types of cauliflowers that differ in size, shape, color, nutritional composition, and taste. When you buy cauliflower, you may only find one color of it. Yet, this vegetable also exists in other colors like purple, green, brown, orange, and also yellow. Cauliflower is known as the healthiest plant in the world. This plant belongs to the cabbage family of cruciferous vegetables. Cauliflower is originally coming from Asia Minor but first cultivated in Turkey in 600 years BC. It was then cultivated in the 16th century in Europe and at the beginning of the 20th century in America.
Types of Cauliflowers
You will find hundreds of varieties of cauliflower that come in different shapes and colors. Yet, white cauliflower is the most popular you can see in the market. In general, cauliflower can be grouped into four different types based on its regions.
There are Italian species of cauliflower which includes Romanesco and other colored cultivars. Another species is Northwest European cauliflowers which are classified as late harvesters and types of cauliflower that is ready in the fall. There are also Northern European varieties that are ready to be harvested early in the season. And also Asian tropical variety that is well-grown in warm weather.
One of the types of cauliflowers is white cauliflower. If we look closer, the white cauliflower has numerous types like the Early White Hybrid and the White Cloud. All the white cauliflower you see will have white curd that is surrounded by enclosing leaves. The white curd is the part you can eat. And when the cauliflowers grow larger the color of the curd will be turning into pure-white color. Some cauliflower is tolerant of fall and spring, while others may be mature very quickly. This white type is known as the most popular and common cauliflower you can find.
Snowball cauliflower is a type of white cauliflower that was introduced in 1888 to North America. This kind of cauliflower has a medium size, around 15 cm, and has tightly white curds on it. You can harvest Snowball cauliflower in only two months, and to make good crops, make sure you have the full sun with slightly acidic soil.
Snow King is another type of white cauliflower you can find. The size is bigger than the previous one, it can reach a size up to eight inches in diameter. The Snow King can be harvested in 58 days.
While other types of cauliflowers are White Corona and the Snow Crow. The White Corona is considered a small-sized cauliflower. Its white head can grow about 10 to 15 cm in size. You can put the white florets in a fresh salad or eat it raw. While the Snow Crow can grow up to eight inches in diameter. You can harvest this type of cauliflower in less than 60 days.
Another type is Snow Spring cauliflower which is known as cold-hardy cauliflower. It has a good taste and crispy white curd.
Early White cauliflower
You can also try Early White cauliflower which has pure-white curd with excellent taste. This type of cauliflower is known as a fast-growing type of cauliflower. Its head measures around 22 cm. The Early White cauliflower can grow well in cool weather. This type is also good to store in a refrigerator or freezer.
Attribute cauliflower hybrid is a type of cauliflower that can mature early and is considered as large-sized cauliflower. This variety has a buttery nutty taste with a good flavor. It is also a great type of cauliflower to grill, roast, and to be cooked with rice.
The lass type we’ve got today is Cornish cauliflowers which are firstly grown in the Cornwall area in England. This is an ancient cultivar that is good to grow at moderate air temperature.
The Characteristics of White Cauliflowers
The interesting characteristic of this type of cauliflower is that it has to be blanched while growing. This means that the white curd must be covered by its green outer leaves so that the taste is preserved and the white color is right when you harvest it.
Some varieties can do self-blanching. It can naturally cover their curd with leaves or protect it from the bad effect of the sun. The varieties of white cauliflower that can do self-blanching are the Snow Crown, the Andes, the Self-Blanche, and the Early Snowball.
The color of this variety is green with pointed pinnacles that you can find at its head’s surface. Its popular variety is called Romanesco. The green variety has small heads. It is even smaller than other varieties of cauliflowers.
For instance, the Romanesco is similar to broccoli in size or taste. The type has a mild nutty taste and is very attractive to be put on your dinner plate.
Because of its green color, this cauliflower is also known as broccoflower. Specifically, it has numerous varieties that you can find. Since the 1990s, the broccoflower can be found throughout the United States and Europe, and the known types including the Alverda, the Vorda, the Green Goddess. While the varieties of Romanesco include the Minaret and the Veronica.
The green type of cauliflower might be a unique type of cauliflower you can find. It has the color of broccoli but looks like a typical cauliflower you find. The difference between this variety with white cauliflower is in their tastes. White cauliflower has a strong taste, while its cousin, the green cauliflower has a milder and sweeter taste. That means that if you don’t like the strong taste of the white variety of cauliflowers, the green cauliflower can be tastier.
They are also different in textures. The white one tends to be crumbly. That is why it is great for making cauliflower rice, while the green one looks like more fibrous broccoli.
The green cauliflower has different types like the Vitaverd, the Green Goddess, the Alverda, and the Chartreuse.
Yellow or Orange Cauliflowers
This variety of cauliflower is also well-known as the Cheddar cauliflower. You will find this type has bright orange and is considered a hybridized variety. The source of the yellow colors comes from an orange pigment familiar as beta carotene, which is the source of vitamin A. This color holds well in the plant because it is sturdy even when the flowers bloom at the harvest time.
When you cook this orange cauliflower, the color gets deeper and even brighter. It is unlike the purple variety that loses its color when cooked. And due to its durability, you can even harvest it many times and still can enjoy its delish textures and flavors. One popular type of it is the Orange Bouquet.
Once we compare these orange colors with the white one, the orange cauliflower is healthier. It is because of the beta carotene level you can have in orange florets. The study reveals that the orange variety has up to 25 times more vitamin A compared to the white variety.
And when it comes to taste, the Cheddar cauliflower doesn’t taste like cheese. It has a milder and sweeter taste compared to these two types of cauliflowers, the white and green one.
There are at least two familiar varieties of orange or yellow cauliflower. One of them is Cheddar cauliflower which has a medium-sized head and is measured between 10 to 17 cm. This most popular variety tastes milder than the white cauliflower. Another variety is the Flame Star Hybrid cauliflowers which are known as sweet cauliflower that owns smooth texture. It is also classified as medium-sized cauliflower’s head. With its dense and firm condition, the orange curds will become a deeper hue when cooking.
You may not find this type of cauliflower easily. Their purple curds are known as the ones with mild and tender flavor, compared to other varieties. Each variety of purple cauliflower has its characteristics, for instance, the
Graffiti cauliflower can retain its color even when you cook it. While the Purple Head variety will turn green even after you change it.
Purple cauliflower is full of minerals and vitamins. It tastes great and very healthy. The purple pigment of purple cauliflower can also be found in cabbage and red wine. An example of this variety is the Violent Queen and the
Purple Cape. You can taste the ViolenltbQyeen raw. And if you go to Great Britain and southern Italy, there will be a purple cauliflower that owns tiny buds. Yet, this cauliflower is not classified as this category.
This type of cauliflower might be the most striking large and vibrant vegetable you may see growing in your garden. The deep purple curd is covered with green leaves. And when you compare it to the white cauliflower, the heads of this purple variety are having milder and tenderer tastes.
It is also considered the healthiest type of cauliflower you consume. The study says that it is because of the violet and blue colors that come from anthocyanin, an antioxidant. This healthy compound can reduce inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and also the risk of cancer.
Purple cauliflower also contains minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that you can compare with the white varieties. Besides, its taste is nuttier and sweeter than the white cauliflower, which makes it a popular choice. And one interesting fact is whether you simmer, steam, or roast the purple cauliflower, it will not alter their bluish color. Yet, some varieties change their color to a light green color when you cook it. To overcome it, try to add lemon juice to preserve the deep purple color when cooking.
As one of the types of cauliflowers, the purple cauliflower has various varieties. One of them is the Depurple cauliflower hybrid which is a good cultivar. This variety brings deep violet florets with white stems. The head can grow large, between 15 to 17 cm.
Another variety is Graffiti hybrid cauliflower which has a bright purple color. When you cook it, you will find its color stays. The Graffiti cauliflower is a natural variety of the plant that can grow even in humid conditions. Sicilian Violet is also an example of a European or Italian variety of purple cauliflower that has a deep purple color. Its deep purple florets can grow to be a medium-sized head. Yet, when you cook, the color changes into light green.
Purple Cape cauliflowers can be a good choice if you are looking for an easy to grow cauliflower. It has excellent flavor with large purple heads. And compared to Violet Queen, this last variety we have today has a very deep purple or almost black colors. This Violet Queen can stand low temperatures. It can grow under the -10°C temperature. This variety is great to be eaten raw. And you can even eat the leaves.
How to Plant these Types of Cauliflowers
To start cauliflower, you can do transplantation. It is the easiest way you can do for all types of cauliflowers. Make sure you have three to four leaves before you plant it outside. And keep it on the ground for at least three weeks after the date of the expected frost.
Also, remove competitive debris and weeds, and add a generous amount of compost. Each plant should be planted 18 to 24 inches apart, and in rows at least 3 feet apart. For regular care, you need to water it several times a week to keep the soil moisture. You also have to add fertilizer, for once a week then increased to be twice a week, once after the plants are established. Make sure that you watch it carry from leaf hoppers, aphids, or other pests. And take action whenever you find it destroys your plants.