Brussels sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) is a cultivar group
of Wild Cabbage cultivated
for its small (typically 2.5-4 cm diameter) leafy heads, which resemble miniature
sprouts were first cultivated in Belgium, and are therefore named
after its capital, Brussels.
sprouts grow on long thick stalks, from which they must be picked off, usually
by hand. In the UK, they are a traditional
winter vegetable, and are often eaten
boiled with a roast dinner. They can also be stir-fried or made into soup.
to a survey in 2002, Brussels sprouts are Britain's
most hated vegetable. Brussels sprout aficionados attribute the hatred of the
sprouts to overcooking, pointing out that if this is avoided, the vegetable possesses
a delicious, delicate nutty flavour. Many consider
that the best flavour is only developed in mid to late winter, after the plants
have been exposed to some frost.
field of Brussels sprouts in the Cotswolds after harvest.
cooking of the Brussels sprout is also the subject of much debate. Commonly the
base is 'crossed' with a knife under the belief that this will lead to more even
cooking. Others believe that this procedure leads to a leeching of flavours and
that it should be avoided.
sprouts are commonly misspelled and mispronounced as "Brussel sprouts".