Over 70 per cent of the broccoli grown in Ontario is Paragon; Cruiser and Premium Crop are also popular varieties.
Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamin C and folacin, and a source of fibre, Vitamin A and potassium.
Broccoli was grown mainly in Italy since the Roman Empire until the 16th century when a royal marriage brought the vegetable to France. We have the union of Catherine de Medici (a daughter of the powerful Florentine banking family) to Henry II of France to thank for introducing broccoli to French gardeners and cooks. Cultivation of the vegetable spread throughout Europe and was first grown on this side of the Atlantic in Virginia in the late 1700s. Today, broccoli is enjoyed through much of the world, in creamed soups, nouvelle cuisine vegetable purées, crisp Italian sautés, salads, Chinese stir-frys, as well as steamed and tossed with butter and lemon or paired with hollandaise sauce.