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Broccolini (original Japanese: nanohana) is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks. Often misidentified as young broccoli, it is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan, both cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea. It was originally developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan, in 1993 as "aspabroc".
The entire vegetable is consumable, including the occasional yellow flower. Common cooking methods include sauteeing, steaming, boiling, and stir frying. In Japan, it is highly popular as a spring vegetable called nanohana, and usually eaten steamed. Its flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus, although it is not closely related to the latter.
In Brazil, the common form of the word broccoli ("brócolis") refers to broccolini: the more expensive traditional broccoli is called "brócolis americano" (American broccoli).
The International Federation for Produce Standards assigns it the price look-up code 3277, "baby broccoli". It is also known as asparation, asparations, bimi, broccoletti, broccolette and tenderstem. Sanbon Incorporated originated a commercial program for "asparation" (its registered trademark) in Mexico in 1994 and took it to the US market in 1996; Mann took it to the US market in 1998 under its trademarked name, broccolini. It is grown year round in California and Arizona. It 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".