Supplies of Romanesco broccoli are strong out of California.
“We’re currently seeing bountiful numbers of both baby and full-size Romanesco,” says Matt Hiltner of Babé Farms, Inc. in Santa Maria, CA. “Supply is currently better than it was last year at this point. The mild summer we’ve experienced thus far in our Santa Maria Valley growing region has translated to great yields on Romanesco and most of our other colorful, specialty vegetables.”
Hiltner notes that Romanesco supplies come from California’s Santa Maria Valley and will continue to do so until December. Then, supplies transition to coming from Babe’s partner grower in South Baja, MX.
Hiltner also notes that the bulk of the competition currently comes from California’s Salinas Valley. “However, what sets Babé Farms’ authentic Italian Romanesco apart is its coral-like, conical turrets--not rounded like others on the market--which really differentiate it from green cauliflower,” he says.
Demand picking up?
While demand is steady across North America for Romanesco, Hiltner notes that consumption is lower than usual due to COVID-19. “But we’re pleased to see a modest uptick in sales as restrictions on restaurants are modified/lifted in certain areas of the country,” he says, adding that good supplies are expected to remain consistent in the foreseeable future.
Math lesson for kids
At the same time, Hiltner notes that retail is the place to promote the eye-catching vegetable and that could even include appealing to parents who are home schooling kids this fall due to the COVID-19-related school closures. “Romanesco is a fun math lesson to “vegucate” kids,” says Hiltner. “Its self-repeating florets display the Fibonacci number sequence so the applications are endless for the one-of-a kind vegetable.”
Overall, Hiltner also says that with the good supplies of Romanesco, prices are lower than last year at this time.