Bob McPhail 12:30 p.m., April 26
How to Eat a... Fractal?
“The Christmas dish?” says Quinn Wilson.
She markets Suzie’s Farm produce from IB, in the Tijuana river valley.
“It had to be Amy DiBiase’s Romanesco cauliflower soup. She’s the chef at the La Jolla Shores Hotel.”
Uh, Romanesco cauliflower?
“Sure. We grow it here at the farm. It tastes nuttier than cauliflower, and looks nothing like cauliflower. It’s stunning, actually. Looks like coral, like it should be underwater.”
Romanesco cauliflower turns out to be far-out interesting for all sorts of reasons.
Like, mathemeticians love it. They throw around words like Mandelbrot sequence, fractal geometry, logarithmic spirals, and Fibonacci sequence when they see a Romanesco cauliflower.
Seems each bud is an exact copy of the whole veggie.
Beyond that? Don’t ask, don’t tell. Just eat. It’s great for eating raw with dip, because it’s more tender than regular cauliflower.
How come we never see this edible fractal?
“No surprise there,” says Quinn. “Supermarkets shut out everything except your basic two or three items. Tomatoes, carrots, standard cauliflower…Heck, they’ll never let you know that there are radishes that are other than red. That there are carrots that are other than orange. And Romanesco? Fuggedaboutit!"
But who can afford to go exotic like this, locovore, organic?
“Look I think we’re not that different, pricewise,” says Quinn. “Though, actually it’s 2-3 years since I’ve even been in a supermarket. But the main difference is taste. Your average supermarket veggie travels 1500 miles to get here, right? You can’t beat the sheer flavor of a veggie from five miles down the road that hasn't been rained on with pesticides, and above all that has been picked this morning.”