Broccoli is a crunchy, zesty, green plant with a flavor that is hard to describe. Think about that latter fact. How do you describe the taste of broccoli? I don’t have broccoli here to sample and give a feeble attempt on its flavor. Is it spicy? Yes but not super hot; rather a taste that piques your taste buds and makes you wonder, “What was that?” Is it sweet? No. A bit crunchy, yes, but not Doritos-style crunchy. Definitely it has a healthy flavor (I find myself becoming more and more perplexed by this question of the taste of broccoli so I’ll stop before I get too deeply confused by it). A quintessential vegetable in nature, it makes many a youngster go “ew!” with a wrinkle of disgust. I find that even some adults do not like broccoli. Indeed, I pride myself on enjoying food that may appear strange or inedible at first glance. Though for many years I have struggled to appreciate raisins, I have yet to encounter a fruit or a vegetable that I cannot eat. So I struggle to empathize with the person or persons who cannot appreciate food in its natural and purest state. This is how God made food to be eaten. Now, I’m no vegan but I’ll admit that, despite my love of sizzling steaks and juicy pork chops, I am coming to appreciate the health benefits of eating more plants.
Last night, the youth from church offered to babysit for any of the church couples that wanted a night to themselves. Not many 15 and younger youngsters were there and our tasks were relatively light, giving us plenty of time for discourse. One of my more memorable discussions came when I asked my friend Anthony if he had ever considered why God made broccoli. That launched a whole discussion on possible reasons why God did create this zesty, crunchy vegetable. Below were the three most credible theories that we concocted. I’ll admit a measure of pride in these.
1: God couldn’t have made just cauliflower and honestly have called it good. He needed something to balance out the cauliflower so He did so with broccoli. Okay, disregarding the fact that the cauliflower and the broccoli are in the same scientific family of plants, this one ought to be readily apparent to anyone who has studied these two in depth. Cauliflower is white, bland in taste, and not as flexible as broccoli. Holding my breath, I consider what I am about to type but I will go out on a limb here and say….that the personality of broccoli is the type of personality that every socialite aspires to: flavor, flexible, and different from the white and bland crowd of followers and yes-men. Yes, I just said that. Cauliflower…now that is a bland vegetable. Fortunately for us who love veggies, God, in His creative wisdom, made broccoli to help us forget that cauliflower is bland and epitomizes what life would be without any diversity.
2: At first God made cauliflower but the Negros in the southeastern U.S. objected and said, “We don’t want none of this white trash” so God then made broccoli. This presupposes that cauliflower, and following the logic of the argument, was a rather late creation that happened in history. And yet can you blame them? Who wants a bland vegetable that does not excite the emotions like broccoli does? Oh, and to clarify, this was not meant to be a racist comment. In fact the joke is on us Caucasian males discussing the existence of cauliflower. In this instance, WE are the white trash.
3: Broccoli is God’s provision for dipping. I tell you, THIS is the best theory. Next time you hold a piece of broccoli in your hand, study it carefully and consider these three points about broccoli. First note how the head is comprised of many small buds at the tips of the branches. The amount of dip you can cram onto a piece of broccoli is phenomenal. I cannot think of any other edible plant in nature that can match the ability to hold the same amount of dip or condiment that broccoli can. Okay, maybe a stalk of celery could compete but it must be a deep dished piece of celery. I posit that ounce for ounce, broccoli holds its own in a dipping contest. Our second point takes us down the stem of broccoli. We come to its flexible, easily broken branches. Why is this so amazing? Well, what if there are different dips that you want to sample? With broccoli it is easy to break off one branch and sample one dip and break off another branch to sample the next dip. And finally, these branches are usually connected to main stalk that is flexible and soft to the to the touch. The point is, it is easy and comfortable to hold. This natural, edible handle makes it easy to use. There is no mess on your fingers, unless you are really aggressive in your dipping habits. These three points of the broccoli make it obvious why God made the broccoli. It’s flexibility and ability to absorb vegetable dip makes it perfect for cleaning out the side of a almost empty dip container. It conforms to any side and any contour of any container. This is my favored theory and I believe that if you study broccoli closely, you’ll come to agree with me that the practical aspects of broccoli point to the Divine reason for its existence.
Most likely, you have never thought so deeply on broccoli. So, what do you think of broccoli?