It’s an Alien! It’s a Spaceship! Nope, it’s…


“It looks like a baby alien!” “A space ship!” “A forest of mini Christmas trees!”

Those were just a few of the remarks I heard when I arrived at Traverse Heights Elementary School in Traverse City to promote the locally grown produce being served in the cafeteria.

What vegetable could provoke such an engaged and dramatic response from hungry students? On Sept. 17, the “baby alien” in question was a head of Romanesco cauliflower, grown by Lutz Farms in Kaleva and served up for lunch.

Romanesco cauliflower, for those unfamiliar with this broccoli cousin, does look a bit extraterrestrial at first glance. It’s easy to see how curious kids might come up with more than a few imaginative identities for this brilliant brassica, with its lime-green hue and a spiky, multifaceted surface. But there’s much more to this funky vegetable than its appearance; Romanesco is rich in vitamin C and contains more beta-carotene than standard white cauliflower.

Read the full post about Meghan’s first cafeteria taste test here.