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Why Does Broccoli Taste Like That?

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Photo of broccoli salad ingredients

They look like happy little trees, are a good source of potassium, and have just 15 calories for half a cup.[1] Broccoli is a powerful superfood worth a place on your plate.

In 2021, the United States used more than 106,000 acres of land to produce 690,000 tons of broccoli.[2] That’s more than 6 billion servings!

Why is Broccoli Bitter?

Broccoli contains several compounds which some people perceive as bitter. Proper growing, storage, and cooking can replace that bitter flavor with an earthy, almost sweet taste. Broccoli is best grown when the temperatures are cool and there is less sunlight. Broccoli should be harvested in the spring or fall and should be stored in a high humidity drawer in your refrigerator.

How Do I Remove the Bitter Flavor?

Blanching! If you wind up with broccoli that has a bitter flavor, you can reduce or eliminate the taste by immersing your broccoli in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Immediately remove the broccoli and immerse it in ice water. This process draws out the compounds which some people perceive as bitter.

What are Broccoli Florets?

Broccoli florets are flowers that haven’t bloomed. They’re the buds! In general, vegetables are the edible parts of plants that aren’t the fruit. In the case of broccoli, we eat the stem and the buds.

Broccoli Salad:


· 1 Broccoli Crown

· ½ Head of Red Cabbage

· ½ White Onion

· 1 Tomato (or 10 cherry tomatoes)

· 1 Small Avocado

· 1 Carrot

· 1 Green Pepper

· 2 Cloves Garlic

· ¼ Cup Rice Vinnegar

· ¼ Cup Almonds

· 1 pot of Boiling Water

· 1 pot of Ice Water


1. Cut broccoli to desired size.

2. Immerse in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.

3. Remove and immerse immediately in ice water and cool.

4. Chop vegetables, include the minced garlic and the avocado, to your preferred size (some people prefer to chop into small pieces, others larger- this is your preference).

5. Place all vegetables and cooled broccoli in a bowl.

6. Add vinegar and almonds, mix.

7. EAT!

[1] (Harvard Medical School, 2018) [2] (National Agricultural Statistical Service, 2022)

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