Intense purple in color, it often attracts our attention to the stalls of fruit sellers, violet cauliflowers are vegetables rich in beneficial properties for our health.
Sometimes seen, with suspicion and fear, for the usual GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) product, purple cauliflower is nothing more than a cross between broccoli and common cauliflower.
Purple Cauliflower: Characteristics
The characteristic purple color of this cauliflower is due to the presence of anthocyanins and carotenoids, important and well-known antioxidant substances considered able to fight the action of free radicals and prevent many inflammations.
There are several varieties of violet cauliflowers of different shades, even in Italy we have a variety of this strange vegetable all our own, The Violet of Sicily.
With a unique and delicate taste, the Sicilian violet has acquired a prominent place on the shelves of fruit sellers. Its size compared to the common cauliflower is much smaller, however, its disengaging color makes it unmistakable.
Precisely because of its characteristic coloring, and especially for its beneficial properties and unique flavor, many chefs have winked at this vegetable from the color so unusual. And here come out from its appearance the most varied dishes and recipes with ingredient just the purple cauliflowers.
The Sicilian violet is not the only purple cauliflower that we can find on the market or on the counters of fruit sellers, in fact there are other varieties, including the Violet Queen or the purple Cape.
Properties of Violet Cauliflowers
In addition to their antioxidant properties, as mentioned above, purple cauliflowers, as well as their closest relatives, the common cauliflowers, are rich in vitamins, including vitamin C and A but also E and K, rich in fiber, calcium and potassium.
In short, a very healthy ingredient to keep with particular attention to our diet and well-being.
So, to give not only a touch of color to our dishes but also to make the full of health, cooked or raw, seasoned with oil or vinegar, it seems that the purple cauliflower is the ideal ingredient that we are looking for.
Cauliflower Purple: Cultivation
This winter vegetable, just like its closest relative the common cauliflower (scientific name Brassica oleracea variety botrytis), has a maturation period of about three months from final planting.
Like common cauliflowers, purple cauliflowers also have different varieties, distinct according to the time of ripening. There are very early varieties, harvested in October, early varieties, harvested in November-December, winter varieties, harvested in January-February, and also late varieties, harvested from March to May.
The best time to plant purple cauliflowers is from late August to late February, depending on the variety, whether more or less early or late.
Purple Cauliflower: Diseases and Parasites
The diseases and parasites that can damage this plant are the same as those of its closest relative, the common cauliflower.
The fungal diseases that most frequently affect the purple cauliflower are powdery mildew, downy mildew, alternariosis, hernia of the cruciferous, dry rot of the cruciferous (due to Phoma lingam).
Among the insects, the most common pests of cabbage are: the waxy aphid of cabbage (Brevicoryne brassicae), the cabbage fly (Delia radicum) and two lepidoptera, the cabbage (Pieris brassicae) and the cabbage noctua (Mamestra brassicae)