Brussels Sprouts are for More than Just Christmas

Brussels Sprouts ready for cooking

Brussels sprouts are famed for being an essential part of the British Christmas dinner, perhaps because they are at their best around Christmas time.  They are a little like Marmite in that you either love or hate them, and there reputation for aiding flatulence has done little to broaden their appeal  to the modern diner.

There are those who avidly proclaim a hatred of these little vitamin packed vegetables , probably as a result of childhood encounters with overcooked , soggy monstrosities, but let’s be honest overcook any vegetable and it becomes a tasteless mush.

When prepared with a little care and imagination, sprouts are a satisfying vegetable with a fresh taste and a bit of crunch.  With one sprout containing as much vitamin C as an orange they offer a much needed vitamin boost in these long winter months. They are also a good source of iron, potassium and fibre as well as vitamin A and K.

It is believed that the Brussels Sprout was first cultivated in Italy during Roman times, and perhaps as early as the thirteenth century in Belgium.  The Brussels sprout that we know today was first grown on a large scale  in Belgium as early as 1587 and is where it takes its name from.   There was no mention of a Brussels Sprout in a British cookery book until 1845 when Eliza Acton gave a recipe for buttered sprouts to be served on sippits of toasted or fried bread in her book, Modern Cookery for Private Families.

In January Brussels Sprouts are still in season and if stored correctly they can keep for several months.