How to select for best flavor:
The best way to tell fresh broccoli is by smell. The scent should be very delicate and subtle. If it is strong, the broccoli is past its prime. The stalks should be tender and firm, not woody. The florets should be compact and dark green or purple, depending on variety. Avoid wilted or shriveled bunches. Also avoid bunches with yellowing florets or heads that have started to flower.
Peak of the season:
Broccoli is available all year, mostly from California. Broccoli grows in many states, and during the summer, you may find local broccoli. During this season, there is usually more available and the price is lower.
Broccoli is very good for you. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and B complex. It also has high amounts of iron, potassium, phosphorous, calcium and protein. It contains a high amount of dietary fiber and is recommended for people suffering from arthritis. One raw spear contains about 40 calories, 1 gram of fat and 41 mgs. of sodium. Cooked, it has slightly less calories and sodium.
Broccoli should be eaten right away for best results. If you have to keep it for two or three days, keep it in the refrigerator.
Broccoli is a newcomer on the U.S. market. Before the 1920s, it was grown in home gardens by Italian immigrants but relatively unknown by the general population. It became quite popular in the ’20s and ’30s after heavy radio advertising.