Did you know? Italians Own Broccoli!

The word broccoli is originally Italian; it is the plural of broccolo, which is the diminutive of brocco, meaning shoot, stalk. Broccoli is a cultivar of wild cabbage, remaining exactly the same species. Wild cabbage originated along the northern and western coasts of the Mediterranean, where it was apparently domesticated thousands of years ago.That domesticated cabbage was eventually bred into widely varying forms, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts, all of which remain the same species.  Broccoli was an Italian vegetable long before it was eaten elsewhere. At that time it was a sprouting type, not the single large head that is seen today.    Italians brought broccoli to North America by 1806[3], but it did not become popular until the 1920s. Commercial cultivation of broccoli in the United States can be traced to the D’Arrigo brothers, Stephano and Andrea, Italian immigrants from Messina, whose company made some tentative plantings in San Jose, California, in 1922. A few crates were initially shipped to Boston, where there was a thriving Italian immigrant culture in the North End. The broccoli business boomed, with the D’Arrigo’s brand name “Andy Boy” named after Stephano’s two-year-old son, Andrew, and backed with advertisements on the radio.