Romanesco


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origin

Romanesco (Brassica oleracea convar botrytis var. Botrytis), like other cabbages, is a member of the Brassicaceae family and is a variant of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. Botrytis). It has been grown in Europe since the 16th century. Originally bred and cultivated near Rome - hence the name "Romanesco". The cauliflower variant has a high vitamin C content and impresses with the shape of the inflorescence: arranged in spirals flowers have the same structures as the Romanesco head itself (Fibonacci structure). This phenomenon is called self-similarity.

Appearance and growth

Similar to cauliflower, elongated oval leaves grow from a stem. They are slightly wavy at the edge. In the middle is the head, which consists of many small, greenish-yellow flowers, which are arranged in spirals and open to the outside. This arrangement in Fibonacci spirals still exists in many other places in nature. In the head of the Romanescos there are spirals arranged in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction. Because of this unusual form of Romanesco is also called turret or minaret cabbage.

Romanesco

Romanesco stands out because of its green color and the "Fibonacci spirals"

Location and ground

Romanesco is a thermophilous starvation and needs to thrive in a warm and sunny location on loamy, deep soil with sufficient nutrient content and good water retention. Ideally, the soil should have a high content of lime, ie have a pH of at least 6.

Crop rotation and mixed culture

Like other types of cabbage, the Romanesco should only be grown on the same bed again after three to four years. Peas, celery, spinach, chard, lettuce and leek are suitable for the mixed culture. Onions and garlic, on the other hand, are bad partners for a mixed culture. As Romanesco is a strong-tamer, it is also advisable to grow the cabbage on a bed that has been previously improved with a green manure.

sowing

You can pre-cultivate Romanesco as well as buy purchased seedlings. For an early harvest you can sow the seeds into the seedbed at the end of April (better from May) and cover them with a thin layer of earth approximately two millimeters thick. Until germination, a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius is optimal, then reach about twelve degrees Celsius. Then it is necessary to pique the seedlings in small pots. After four to six weeks, the young plants can then move to the bed.

planting

Ideally, one to two weeks before planting, add a large scoop of well-rotted compost and some cornmeal to the bed to increase nutrient content. It is best to grow the young plants if you have four to five leaves. Place the Romanesco plants in the bed at a distance of 40 x 50 centimeters and make sure that the lower leaf appendix still looks out of the ground.

maintenance

Among the cabbage plants, cauliflower and Romanesco are the species that need the most water. In particular, after planting and during dry periods, it is important to thoroughly penetrate the cauliflower variant. On good soil, it will suffice if you water abundantly every two to three days.
In addition, it is important to ensure an even supply of nutrients so that the heads gain in size quickly. In summer, it is sufficient to make cornmeal one or two times a day and to occasionally feed the vegetables with vegetable meal. Regular chopping promotes the release of nitrogen and loosens the soil. A mulch layer ensures that enough heat and moisture is stored in the soil. In addition, the plants get the accumulation, so grow better and it drive out stronger leaves. Be careful not to damage the ornate heads.

Harvest and recovery

Harvest Romanesco

Harvest the Romanesco when the head is still closed

You can harvest Romanesco as soon as the heads have taken on a rich yellow-green color and the middle flower is well-formed but still closed. This is usually the case eight to ten weeks after planting. Then cut off the whole stem with the flowers and discard the roots and remaining parts of the plant on the compost. Romanesco can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days, then it loses its strength.
The cabbage tastes more aromatic than cauliflower, contains more vitamins and minerals. The color is retained when you add some sugar and lemon juice to the cooking water. You can stew and cook Romanesco and use it for soups or stews. It is also suitable as a vegetable garnish or with butter, salt and pepper refined as a healthy main course.

Romanesco tastes cooked and steamed

Romanesco tastes cooked or steamed and has a more aromatic flavor than cauliflower

variety Tips

'Romanesco Natalino' and 'Minaret' are characterized by a long maturation, but also by a fine taste. 'Veronica' is also a proven, rather early variety that is resistant to diseases and pests.

Diseases and pests

The Kohldrehherzmücke can do more damage. She lays her eggs in the flower arrangements. The larvae that leap from leaf to leaf, but a saliva with growth-inhibiting substances. On the other hand, cultivation can help in windy locations. In addition, the disease Kohlhernie, which is caused by a slime mold, may occur. Then it is advisable to follow a cultivation break of six to seven years. To protect against the cabbage fly and the cabbage white you can cultivate Romanesco under fleece or vegetable protection nets.

Video Board: Trimming and preparing Romanesco.

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