It’s Christmas Day. All the presents have been unwrapped. The box of celebrations has been destroyed and Dad has already fallen asleep in front of the TV.
The turkey is cooking in the oven and the veggies are being prepped. Including one very special vegetable and arguabley the most important (in my opinion), Brussel sprouts.
Probably the most controversial of Christmas veggies, brussel sprouts are sort of like marmite – you either love them or hate them. It divides families and communities but my firm belief is, you cannot have a Christmas dinner without this green vegetable.
Brussel sprouts date back to the 13th Century in Ancient Rome and the Mediterranean region however it gained its prominence in what is now modern-day Belgium. It was there that the controversial green vegetable got the name that we know all so well today.
The first written reference dates back to the 1500s. Popularity for the vegetable came after the 16th century and from then on popularity for the vegetable grew across the globe.
The largest producers of sprouts in Europe is the Netherlands who export the majority of their stock.
French settlers eventually took the crop the US, and in the 1940s production moved to the central coast of California where production continues to this day.
The UK has an almost comparable production system to the Dutch but we don’t generally export our crop.
Contrary to belief, Brussel sprouts are actually very good for you. They are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K. They are very good sources of nutrients including folate, manganese, Vitamin B6, fibre, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin A.
In my house, it’s a 50/50 divide. I love them, as does my mum but my sister and dad? Will not go near them.
Now, I understand the hate, I do. But put simply, you cannot have a Christmas dinner without them (you just have to get over the after dinner smell).
It’s not just boiling them in water now, there is so many ways you can spruce them up.
Fry them in oil with some bacon and chestnuts. Deep fry them and cover them in batter- tempura style. Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts provide a little kick to the alternative . You can literally deep fry, sauté, glaze and bake them. They are as versatile as they come.
The taste, I know, can be the issue. But I swear, the more you eat the better they become. I promise you. As I’ve already said you can spice the, up to suit your favourite flavourings. They can really be for everyone.
You see, the tradition of Brussel sprouts dates back generations. It’s only fair that this year you play homage to that tradition and make sure that they are a part of your Christmas dinner.
After all, you can’t have Christmas dinner without this small, cabbage like vegetable.
Feature Image Credit: – Mr Marshamallow.bandcamp.com