Brussel Sprouts are known to be the biggest dinner plate hate in the UK. But why? Is it because of their bitter taste or their eggy smell?
They’re cute looking miniature cabbages and at first glance or placed in front of you like the image below, you’d think they taste good, but if not cooked properly, you’re only in for a grass-like and earthy taste.
Some people are wondering why we only eat them at Christmas and others wonder why we bother eating them at all! And after looking at these facts, its quite shocking what an impact they have on us and the impact we have on them.
So here are 10 facts about Brussel Sprouts you may not know:
- The reason so many of us dislike the flavour is due to a specific gene, TAS2R38, which makes them taste bitter to some people (I must have loads of that).
- The area of fields covered by brussel sprouts in the UK is equivalent to 3,200 football pitches!
- The largest Brussel Sprout on record weighed 18lb 3oz
- This Christmas, M&S is hoping to wow customers with their new apple, pear and brussel sprout flavoured juice.
- The sprout industry is worth £650,000,000
- At Christmas, ASDA will sell around 140 million brussels. They stock up on both red and green and also have a mixed variety bag of sprouts!
- The Brits eat more sprouts per head than any other country in Europe.
- The earliest recorded date of brussel sprouts is to 1796 – quite late!
- One cup of brussel sprouts only contains 56 calories.
- Peak season for brussel sprouts is from September to February… so why is it tradition to enjoy them at Christmas?
Well, there are mixed opinions on the ‘enjoy’ part, but you can do so much with brussel sprouts and serve them in so many dishes. In actual fact, there are over 9,000 ways to cook a sprout – some examples include cherry-glazing and balsamic-roasting!
The tiny green balls are the single most controversial course on any Christmas dinner table but why you ask? because they’re good for you! Most of the traditional things we have at Christmas like meat, potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and bread aren’t the healthiest options so it breaks it all up, personally, I could live without them for one day but that’s just me.
Whats happening to brussel sprouts this year?
There is an all-mighty threat to our Christmas dinner this year though as The National Farmers Union said crops could be smaller, to deal with the pest and weather conditions that are keeping our sprouts from growing as they should.
Last year, Farmer Mike Capps of RM Capps Ltd said: “we’ve had the biggest pile of damaged sprouts ever seen!”. Looks like there’s sprout chaos every Christmas, but lucky us were almost still guaranteed a few on our plate on the 25th and probably 3 days after.
So, the next time you sit at the dinner table and you scour at the four small cabbages on your plate, be thankful they’re there in the first place, it’s probably a tough rigorous little life they live on the farm not knowing whether they’re going to be plucked at by a crow or a pigeon and in the end not being ate anyway!
So next time, pick on something your own size.