Contrary to the claims of some skeptics, broccoli is not a genetically modified or man-made vegetable. It is a naturally occurring plant that belongs to the same family as kale, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Broccoli is a cultivated variety of the plant species Brassica oleracea, also known as wild cabbage or mustard. The cultivation of broccoli involves selective breeding to produce a plant with desirable traits, such as a large head of tightly clustered flower buds or florets.
Historians believe that the ancient Etruscans first cultivated wild cabbage over 2000 years ago. Farming in the Italian region now known as Tuscany, the Etruscans bred the earliest species of broccoli as well as other cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli is nutrient-dense and flavorful. It provides an excellent source of antioxidants, proteins, and fiber. Not to mention an abundance of vitamins and minerals.