Far out Brussels sprout

Brussels Travel Blog

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Brussels sprouts are oddly iconic in Australia, with a savage reputation among Australian children for being the foulest object imaginable. In fact, "Brussels sprout" approached the level of a curse when I was in primary school - "far out Brussels sprout" was a pretty emphatic utterance for a six year old. Ask any Australian child what their least favourite vegetable is and I am sure that nine out of ten would say "Brussels sprouts". Likewise "eat your sprouts" must have been uttered by parents in Australian a billion times over.

Why are they called Brussels sprouts? They were grown in Belgium as early as the 1200s and spread out to the Anglo and Germanic Europe in the 1600s. There was a tradition until recently to cut a cross in the base of a Brussels sprout in order to prevent them from turning into a "were-sprout". As wonderful an image as this conjures up, it is probably much more mundane - when overcooked Brussels sprouts release foul sulphur odours (from glucosinolate and sinigrin, probably the source of Australian distaste as Australian cooking used to involve overcooking everything) and cutting a cross into the sprout allows more even cooking and hence a shorter boil.
Adrian_Liston says:
That sounds quite nice, a lot like one of my favourite dishes Shepard's Pie (minced meat or lentils covered in mashed potato). Actually I love Brussels Sprouts now, but I loathed them as a child.
Posted on: Aug 25, 2009
lamadude says:
I always loved sprouts, even as a kid. but like you say, they are often overcooked and then taste horrible.
One of my favourite types of winterfood is the very basic dish called "sous-marin" ("submarine" in french). It's a 3-layered dish with Brussels sprouts on the bottom, minced meat in the middle and mashed potatoes on top, and you're supposed to eat from all 3 layers at once on every bite. I realize this sounds pretty bad but I assure you it tastes delicious!
Posted on: Aug 24, 2009
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