Opinion: Punny thoughts on cauliflower

Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

There’s not much humor related to the topic of cruciferous vegetables. If you google Brussels sprouts or kale or turnips for any clever witticisms, you’re going to come up empty and disappointed – sort of the way you feel after eating that stuff.

There have been a few exceptions. Mark Twain claimed cauliflower was just a head of cabbage with a college education. Stephen Colbert recently asserted that cauliflower was just broccoli trying to win an Academy Award, a reference to the alleged color bias in the nominating process.

I’d like to see more cruciferous humor, so I was thrilled to read this headline in the Wall Street Journal:


This, from the WSJ, not a publication known for its whimsy.

The article describes a customer at a Sam’s Club making a beeline to the produce area, hoping to find this healthy vegetable, which is in short supply now. Wouldn’t you make a beeline to shelves with honey? Writer Robin Sidel laments that because cauliflower is getting tougher to find, many consumers are “fruitlessly” digging into supermarket bins looking for it. Fruitlessly? If anything, you would be “vegetatively” looking for the cauliflower.

The reporter says cauliflower’s popularity has “blossomed” as a substitute for starchy foods. I’m pretty certain there’s no blossoming in the life cycle of a cauliflower. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ll try a bouquet for Mary Ellen on Valentine’s Day.

Sidel interviews this woman who has ended her love affair with cauliflower. In her cauliflower blog (yes, I’m serious) she has defiantly posted a recipe for broccoli salad. Says the blogger, “I have now taken my revenge like any former bitter lover.” There’s the problem: she’s bitter, but her former lover is bland and unexciting. Good luck with broccoli: not exactly the George Clooney of vegetables.

I know a humor column is an odd place to discuss the rising price of cauliflower. I’m just giving you a heads up.