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Cauliflower is a nutritious garden vegetable.

Rich in vitamin or minerals, like any vegetable, you get the most out of eating it raw, as all the nutrients are still there. Cauliflower is most commonly eaten cooked, but it may also be pickled, and is often sold in that form commercially with pickled onions[?] and pickles[?] (pickled cucumbers[?]).

Only the head of the cauliflower is eaten, a part known scientifically as the white curd. This is the thickly clustered section of the plant that consists of unbloomed flower buds. This area is surrounded at the bottom by thick, large green leaves.

Harvesting the vegetable

The delicate process

As soon as the head appears, gardeners tie the plant's leaves over the head in order to blanch it, a process allowing it to stay white. They must harvest the plant once it has reached what they presume to be its full size and ripened fully, but be diligent not to wait too long, or else it will flower.

The vegetable requires a cool, moist climate. If the temperatures go up too high, the plants will not grow heads. If too low a growing temperature is reached, the plants might button[?], creating small, unusable heads.

Where it is grown

Most of the vegetable produced in the United States comes from the state of California.

Scientific classification: Cauliflower belongs to the mustard family, Brassicaceae or Cruciferae. Its scientific name is Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis.

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