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Cauliflowers probably originated in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), but was available exclusively in the Mediterranean countries and later in the rest of Europe. They were first grown in North America in the late 17th century. The cauliflower belongs to the cabbage family and has a head of immature florets which should be firm, tight and snowy white. The leaves which are large and dark green act as a sort of sun shade for them.
Cauliflowers do very well in soups and creams or covered in cheesy sauces. In Mediterranean cuisine it is used raw combined with garlic, olive oil and capers to make an interesting antipasto. Baby cauliflowers or florets pickled in vinegar and/or oil together with baby carrots, baby corn, peppers, pearl onions, and olives, all neatly packed into plain glass jars, are an edible work of art. Cauliflower combines very well with curry too, in India it is mixed with other vegetables to make spicy casseroles.