Cauliflower

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Mark Twain observed that the cauliflower is a cabbage with a college education. This was not just a quip. Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family, Cruciferae, so-named because of their cross-shaped flowers. Indeed, it is a member of the same genus, Brassica, and the same species, oleracea, as cabbage. To distinguish these cultivars, cabbage is further classified in the Capitata group and cauliflower in the Botrytis group.* Twain, despite his lack of college education, must have known about this taxonomic connection, as did the people in France and Spain, whose words for cauliflower, chou-fleur and coliflor, translate literally as cabbage flower. Cauliflower itself obviously contains the same Romance root for cabbage, which also surfaces in Coleslaw.