Brussels Sprouts: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Brussels sprouts.

  • Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family of vegetables, along with kale and collard greens. The tiny vegetables typically measure between 2.5 and 6 cm in diameter.
  • The ancient Romans grew Brussels sprouts, and they were also widely grown in Belgium from the 13th century, giving them their name. They were soon being grown all over Europe.
  • French settlers introduced sprouts to America in the early 1800s, and today almost all are grown in California. They are also grown widely in Germany and the Netherlands.
  • The UK produces about 82,000 tons of Brussels sprouts every year, most of them are eaten in the UK. It’s enough to cover the entire City of London.

Brussels sprouts

  • According to most surveys, about 50 percent of us don’t like sprouts. Many people have a specific gene which makes them taste bitter and unpleasant.
  • Sprouts are very nutritious and healthy. They contain fibre, as well as the daily recommended doses of vitamins C and K, and they are low in calories and sodium.
  • Brussels sprouts are also said to be good for lowering cholesterol and preventing colon cancer. They contain sinigrin, a compound containing glucose, which can fight cancer.
  • In Christmas 2010, American fast food chain Burger King introduced a sprout surprise burger in some areas of the UK. The short lived and unpopular burger had sprouts and cheese in it.
  • Although most people boil Brussels sprouts, they can also be steamed, roasted, stir fried and grilled. Before they are cooked they should be washed well and any yellow leaves removed, as well as the stems.
  • Brussels sprouts should never be overcooked. Overcooking can make them turn mushy and causes them to give off an unpleasant sulfurous smell.
  • Brussels sprouts have traditionally been popular at Christmas as they are an Autumn and Winter vegetable. Many people regard them as the main vegetable on Christmas Day and a key part of a Christmas dinner.

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