Broccolini is a green vegetable resembling broccoli. Although often mistakenly identified as young broccoli, it is actually a natural hybrid of the cabbage family Brassica oleracea, a cross between broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli). It was developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan. It is generally agreed that broccolini has a sweeter flavor than broccoli.
Broccolini is a registered trademark of Mann Packing Company, Inc. Its generic name is baby broccoli with product look up number 3277. It is also known by the name Asparation, Asparations, Bimi, and Tender Stem. Sanbon Incorporated originated a commercial program for asparation in Mexico in 1994 and first brought it to the U.S. market in 1996. Mann Packing Company introduced the new vegetable to the US market in 1998 under the brand: BROCCOLINI. They grow the vegetable year round in California and Arizona. Today, you can find Broccolini brand baby broccoli throughout the United States and Canada.