It’s everywhere, in every guise; raw in the fresh produce section, starring on nutrition blogs, inspiring food critics, and baked into specialty goods. A superfood on the cuisine scene that cannot and should not be ignored. The cauliflower craze has managed to last longer than many other fads, and we think it deserves more than just an honourable mention.
It certainly wasn’t always this way! The anaemic half-sister to broccoli was once just the filler-in for frozen bags of mixed vegetables, or hastily doused with cheese sauce. It was flavourless, colourless and largely overlooked. But with the popularity of diets like keto and paleo, people needed a viable alternative to gluten-laden flours and processed foods – something versatile and nutrient-rich that could be used as a base for various dishes. Lo and behold, cauliflower ticked all the boxes – it was still flavourless and colourless but now not overlooked!
Besides being wonderfully adaptable, this cruciferous vegetable is a nutrition powerhouse as well! Who knew it’s a non-starchy, complex carbohydrate, high in fibre and low in sugar? Not to mention the antioxidants in cauliflower that may protect against some forms of cancer; and don’t forget choline, essential for learning and memory. Now, in the language of the home cook, that translates into – it’s good for what’s wrong with you!
One pioneer in the cauliflower patch, Gail Becker, whose two sons had recently been diagnosed with Coeliac disease, discovered just how good it was. When she realised pizza, their staple stand-by was now off-limits, Gail improvised with bases made from puréed cauliflower and in a short time, pizza was back on the menu! Realising the potential contained in the noble white florets, Gail founded Caulipower Inc. and began creating hundreds of specialised items, tapping into the worldwide need so like her own. Talk about a niche market!
The versatility of cauliflower is partly responsible for its practically overnight success. Its very blandness and consistency of taste and texture perfectly absorbs and reflects hundreds of seasonings and techniques. It’s a contradicting riddle that just keeps us guessing… What has no flavour, yet tastes amazing? What has no colour, but brightens every dish? What can replace rice, flour, meat, pasta and pastry, yet give us the best of everything?
In every act, it’s cauliflower that appears in a new costume to surprise and delight our palate.