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Broccolini is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks. Although often misidentified as young broccoli, it is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan, Chinese broccoli, both cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea. The cultivar was developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan, in 1993 with the name "aspabroc". The name "broccolini" is a registered trademark of Mann Packing Company, Inc.
The International Federation for Produce Standards assigns this cultivar the price look-up code 3277, "baby broccoli". It is also known by the names asparation, asparations, bimi, broccoletti, broccolette and tenderstem. Sanbon Incorporated originated a commercial program for "asparation" (Sanbon's registered trademark for the vegetable) in Mexico in 1994 and first brought it to the US market in 1996. Mann brought it to the US market in 1998 under its trademarked name, broccolini. The vegetable is grown year round in California and Arizona. Today, broccolini is sold throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom and Ireland it is referred to as "Tenderstem Broccoli".
The entire vegetable is consumable, including the occasional yellow flower. Common cooking methods include sauteeing, steaming, boiling, and stir frying. Broccolini's flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus (although it is not closely related to the latter vegetable).
In Brazil, the common form of broccoli ("brócolis") actually refers to broccolini, whereas more expensive traditional broccoli is called "brócolis americano" (American broccoli). It looks and tastes a mixture of broccoli and Asparagus.