E. Kowalski's blog

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Fractal cabbage

Filed under: Mathematics @ 9:27

Back in the days when fractals where the most fashionable thing, I had heard of fractal cabbages, and seen pictures of them. However, they are typically not available in French or American stores, so I didn’t see a real one until noticing that they are very common in Swiss supermarkets. Here’s a picture of one, but I should say that pictures do not quite convey the actual feel of seeing and handling this vegetable (not to mention eating it — and it is indeed quite tasty). The diameter (of horizontal cross-sections) of the specimen displayed here is between 10 and 15 centimeters, and the height is slightly larger.


  1.   JSE — 14.01.2009 @ 22:41    Reply

    Just to defend my country’s honor, these are sold at the farm market here in Madison…

  2.   Grétar — 17.01.2009 @ 1:50    Reply

    I agree, they look beautiful and taste really good. I first had them in Grenoble.

  3.   Gil Kalai — 17.01.2009 @ 16:58    Reply

    Here is another mention of fractalic vegtables:


  4.   Kowalski — 17.01.2009 @ 17:48    Reply

    Thanks for the reference! (I have to admit I didn’t do any measurement of the structure of the vegetable…) Amusingly, there was none in the store where I usually buy them this morning…

  5.   Mark Dominus — 01.02.2009 @ 21:03    Reply

    I would like to know the Hausdorff dimension of this cabbage.

  6.   Richard Elwes — 02.02.2009 @ 0:03    Reply

    I think in culinary circles they go by the name “Romanesque Broccoli”. Very pleasing on the eye, the mind, and the tongue!


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