What is the difference between broccoli, broccoli rabe, Chinese broccoli, and broccolini?
Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable that’s been around for 2000 years. Especially the Broccoli in Bossy’s local supermarket which is probably a few decades older than that.
Broccoli comes from the Italian word brocco meaning arm branch. Among its relatives are cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
Broccoli was first grown commercially in the United States in 1920. Which is crazy good timing because a few hours after that, the country celebrated its first episode of food-related flatulence.
Broccoli rabe is related to the turnip and has a pungent flavor. Broccoli rabe is also known as rapini, broccoletti di rape, broccoletto, and that smoky green stuff in the middle of God’s gift to sandwiches.
Chinese Broccoli is not actually Broccoli at all, but rather Chinese Kale and it has a very peppery flavor. Chinese Broccoli is also known as Gai Lan – or #72 with Garlic Sauce and a side of White Rice.
Broccolini is a hybrid vegetable that is a cross between broccoli and Chinese Kale.
Broccolini’s shelf life is longer than traditional broccoli and its stems less woody. In specialty food stores it is sometimes labeled Baby Brocolli – or as Bossy simply refers to it: Baby Brocco Broccoletti Rapini di Gai Lan Broc Broc.
This Lady Linda Seems To Know The Difference Between This Green Thing Over Here And That Green Thing Over There.
Gloria saysNovember 16, 2007 at 7:54 am
*clapclap* Thanks for the educational healthy post. I love broccolis. And gai lan is heavenly with oyster sauce. Yum yum. Specially Baby Gai Lan!
Mr Farty saysNovember 16, 2007 at 8:45 am
Vegetables: Those things you have to push aside to reach the meat.
The Domestic Goddess saysNovember 16, 2007 at 8:46 am
I thought it came from Brocco, meaning “To break wind often after eating.”
Thanks for clearing it up.
Jozet at Halushki saysNovember 16, 2007 at 8:53 am
And then there’s Tony Broccolinski, the kid who took my virginity in the back of his dad’s Buick Regal.
All Adither saysNovember 16, 2007 at 9:04 am
Yeah, yeah. Let’s talk about cheese.
vuboq saysNovember 16, 2007 at 9:18 am
What about cauliflower? HMMMM?
Kristabella saysNovember 16, 2007 at 9:45 am
Bad broccolini is what got hottie tall guy CJ kicked off Top Chef this past season.
Heather saysNovember 16, 2007 at 9:48 am
Your post has perfect timing. I just read a restaurant review that discussed Chinese broccoli, and I had no idea what they were referring to. Now I know. I’m curious as to the inspiration for this post.
we_be_toys saysNovember 16, 2007 at 9:51 am
Wow, I’ve never so much fiber represented in the written word. It is inspiring; not to go eat it, but it inspires me none the less…oops! Gotta go!
super des saysNovember 16, 2007 at 9:55 am
what about brocciflower, a mix between broccoli and cauliflower?
Janice in TX saysNovember 16, 2007 at 10:17 am
If I read a veggie post like this every morning I wouldn’t need one of those exercise balls. But then I read all about Tony Luke’s….I scratched my monitor and I could smell those sandwiches, then I lick my monitor and ….never mind, I’ll stick to my usual breakfast of Mocha Java Chip ice cream.
Oh, Gloria, I never knew anyone could get so excited about any form or broccoli.
Prof. J. saysNovember 16, 2007 at 10:18 am
Baby Brocco Broccoletti Rapini di Gai Lan Broc Broc
That does simplify things.
I do love me some bossy women!
Nilsa S. saysNovember 16, 2007 at 10:50 am
I love me some broccoli, even more than asparagus, because my pee doesn’t smell after I eat it! 🙂
Howard saysNovember 16, 2007 at 11:03 am
I’m a freak. I LOVE broccoli.
melissa saysNovember 16, 2007 at 11:19 am
i love all of those variations. there is also a purple broccoli. that is so yummy, too! by the way…broccoli does make pee smell…at least, it makes my kids pee smell…mine always smells like roses!
Mrs. G. saysNovember 16, 2007 at 11:21 am
Broccoli rabe sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and parm and thrown on pasta of any kind is heaven, my fried bossy, just heaven. Thanks for the reminder.
Noelle saysNovember 16, 2007 at 11:30 am
I like broccoli when I can get it in “single person living alone” size. It usually involves clandestinely breaking bunches in half while no one is looking.
qt saysNovember 16, 2007 at 11:34 am
I’m with Mrs. G – yum yum. I also like the baby broccoli cooked in a little sesame oil.
Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You saysNovember 16, 2007 at 12:00 pm
yeah, spellchecker likes that one better.
but doesn’t like spellchecker.
joeinvegas saysNovember 16, 2007 at 12:01 pm
And, does Bossy know how to prepare all of the said items? (besides just ordering #72)?
Laurie Foolery saysNovember 16, 2007 at 12:26 pm
I have now gotten my vegetable servings out of the way for today.
Also, as a cruciform (sp.? who cares) vegetable, it serves up some terrific gas later (which you can’t blame on the dog because no self-respecting dog will eat broccoli, or any of its bastard cousins).
David saysNovember 16, 2007 at 12:41 pm
I had no idea broccoli made one gassy. I always thought it was the cheese fries.
annie saysNovember 16, 2007 at 12:50 pm
Hee! Have you ever noticed Chinese restaurants that have dishes labeled “Number A” or Number B” etc.? That always cracks me up.
we_be_toys saysNovember 16, 2007 at 1:52 pm
unhhhh! I just went and checked out Tony Luke’s and I am SO VERY jealous of bossy! to have such gastric delights so close…I would never cook again.
Hotdog saysNovember 16, 2007 at 2:25 pm
once again you’ve lightened up my life. ha ha.
those sandwhiches look like a delish heart attack in a bun.
i would eat them daily…
precarious tomato saysNovember 16, 2007 at 2:46 pm
Awfully tasty for something that smells so very, very much like farts while it is cooking.
mothergoosemouse saysNovember 16, 2007 at 4:07 pm
We call it broccoli Spicoli.
Cece saysNovember 16, 2007 at 5:47 pm
I think your post just gave me gas.
meg saysNovember 16, 2007 at 6:23 pm
Ou est le Velveeta??
Sparx saysNovember 16, 2007 at 7:02 pm
Do they all have different cabbage loopers in residence or is it pretty much the same caterpillar for all of them?
Diane Meyer saysNovember 16, 2007 at 7:03 pm
Your broccoli story made me happy. I owe you.
surcie saysNovember 16, 2007 at 7:21 pm
Thank you, dear Bossy. I have been wondering this very thing. Next, I’d like to figure out the difference between pancetta, prosciutto, and capicola!
erin saysNovember 16, 2007 at 10:38 pm
My sister dated a guy named Kale…the vegetable that thinks it’s a flower. That pretty much described him, too;)
mcewen saysNovember 16, 2007 at 10:46 pm
Well if you sample all of those in one sitting I shouldn’t care to share the same room as you for a few hours!
Peggy saysNovember 17, 2007 at 7:54 am
Thank you for this very educational post.We will now be able to converse intelligently about said broccoli whilst dunking it in cheese and/or ranch dip..LOL
Theresa saysNovember 17, 2007 at 1:17 pm
Bossy forgot Romanesco broccoli. It’s prettier than normal broccoli.
Get-Off saysNovember 18, 2007 at 7:07 am
How about asparagus? The vegetable that makes your piss smell like the musk of a feral cat? Now THERE is a vegetable for you!
sarcasm abounds saysNovember 18, 2007 at 2:18 pm
Informative and vile. (the veggie, not the post.) All I knew about broccoli before this was what I learned from Dana Carvey’s song…
meleah rebeccah saysNovember 18, 2007 at 9:15 pm
Thanks for clearing up the mystery of Broccoli and all of its subsidiaries.
Queeny saysNovember 18, 2007 at 9:42 pm
Excuse me while I vomit. Not a fan of all that green stuff.
Meghan saysNovember 18, 2007 at 11:51 pm
Your brain would be a scary place in which to get lost.
And, Broccolini. Yum
Laura saysNovember 19, 2007 at 7:53 am
Thank you for straightening this out-I was LOL and spit out my coffee after reading the #72 thingy!
jenB saysNovember 21, 2007 at 12:44 am
only bossy would get 42 comments on broccoli.
i love you lady come over for my last gin and tonic.