Organic Brussel Sprouts
Surely the ‘Marmite’ of the vegetable world. Dividing the nation into love it or hate it camps the humble brussel sprout seems to have the ability to divide the nation. As with many of our modern vegetables its roots can be traced back to Ancient Rome but Sprouts as we know them were possibly grown as early as the 13th century in what is now Belgium. Their early popularity in that region of Europe and its proximity to Brussels the city, is where the name comes from.
The earliest written reference dates 1587 and throughout the 16th and 17th centuries they gained popularity throughout Northern Europe.
Brussel Sprouts for us the in the UK have become synonymous with Christmas but actually two thirds of all our sprouts are eaten outside of this festive period. We are the largest consumers of Sprouts in Europe however export virtually none of our crop with The Netherlands and Mexico ! being two largest exporting nations.
Gone, perhaps, are the days when brussel sprouts were peeled and then boiled for hours until so soft no chewing was required. The 1990’s had everyone peeling and putting a cross cut in the base, before boiling and now we like to shred them and cook in butter with chopped chestnuts.
However you cook them (as long as not still boiling them to a mush) and which ever camp you are in there is no denying the iconic place this little cabbage has in our winter kitchens.