by Loree Dowse | July 2018
It’s not often you get to introduce a vegetable variety to the country that makes people gasp.
Mann Packing did it 20 years ago with Broccolini®, one of our most-beloved products. And look at it now: from fine dining to Chick-Fil-A to grocery stores everywhere, the name itself is so common that most people don’t realize we own the trademark to it.
Today, we’re all aflutter here at Mann’s over the newest member of the family: Caulilini™ SweetStem™ Cauliflower. We’ve been doing field trials with Aruba Seed Company for almost 2 years, teasing out seed spacing and other growing conditions to yield the best shape, color and flavor. The result: a cauliflower variety with blonde florets, elegant green stalks and a sweetly succulent flavor that knocks your socks off both raw and cooked.
Caulilini is similar to Broccolini in terms of its open floret structure and long edible stem. But it’s different in other ways. Unlike Broccolini, which is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale (gai lan), Caulilini is 100% cauliflower. It also grows in heads, not single stalks. The resulting florets offer variation in shape and size that also set it apart from Broccolini. One feature that both vegetables have in common though: pure deliciousness.
Last fall, the new product team here at Mann’s brought our Chef Panel together to see what they thought of it.
We sent them Caulilini samples to cook with beforehand, and when we met, their responses to it were pretty unanimous: “When can I put this on my menu??”
With its sweet, slightly nutty flavor and ombre coloring (the stem turns bright green when cooked while the florets stay light), Caulilini brings the Wow Factor. One of our favorite ways to cook it is grilled, but it’s also delicious sautéed with plenty of garlic, roasted, or even raw as a unique addition to a crudité platter.
Now, before you run out to your nearest grocery store to buy it, know this. At the moment, Caulilini is only available to our foodservice customers. So keep an eye out for it at your favorite dinning spot or watering hole, take a picture of it, and send us a note letting us know what you think.
We’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.