Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, kale, and cabbage. Cauliflower has a compact head called a "curd," which is composed of undeveloped flower buds. The curd averages 6 inches in diameter. The flower buds are attached to a central stalk, and when the buds bloom, cauliflower looks like a little tree. Cauliflower is white because its ribbed, coarse green leaves protect the curd from sunlight, thereby impeding the development of chlorophyll. While this process contributes to the white coloring of most varieties, cauliflower can also be found in light green and purple colors. Raw cauliflower is firm, yet spongy in texture. It has a slightly sulfurous and faintly bitter flavor.
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