What Are Those Brown Spots on My Cauliflower?
If you purchase cauliflower with any degree of regularity, you’ve probably noticed pale brown spots scattered over the white florets. These freckles are the most common defect on cauliflower. Sometimes they’re already present when you buy a whole head or bag of florets. Other times you might not notice them until it’s time to make that creamy cauliflower soup or oven-roasted cauliflower you’ve been eyeing.
So, what exactly is going on here? Cauliflower can develop brown spots due to oxidation, a chemical reaction from prolonged exposure to light and air. But don’t fret, you can still make easy cauliflower recipes and your dinner isn’t necessarily ruined. Find out how to remove these spots and whether your cauliflower is still edible.
What is Oxidation — and Why Does It Cause Those Brown Spots?
A scattering of pale brown spots on the cauliflower curds isn’t all that abnormal, and it doesn’t necessary mean it’s time to ditch that newly purchased veggie. The culprit for this discoloration is oxidation, which happens naturally the longer cauliflower is stored.
The good news is that you can still cook with this cauliflower. While the discoloration doesn’t look appealing, it’s harmless as long as the spots haven’t turned a dark color or have a mushy texture.
How to Remove Brown Spots from Cauliflower
When to Toss Your Cauliflower
If instead of pale brown, the spots are dark brown to black in color, the curds have taken on a mushy texture, or have an off-putting odor, it’s best to toss the head of cauliflower and get a fresh one. These are all signs of decay and spoilage.