Life is like a Brussel Sprout.

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Developed in Belgium (some say in the 1200’s) Brussel Sprouts belong to the Cruciferae or Mustard family, so known because of a four-part flower in the shape of a cross. I love ‘em. But I hate mustard. (Note to self: investigate connection between mustard and Brussel Sprouts.)

  • Things you may not know. (AKA: Things you may not care about)
  • The intensive cultivation of cutting all the little cabbages off the stem earned locals the nickname of Kuulkappers, or “cabbage cutters.”
  • Belgians say that eating Brussels sprouts at the beginning of a meal keeps you from getting drunk!
  • Germans call them Rosenkohle (rose cabbages)
  • Canada got Brussel Sprouts in 1905 – monks brought them to New Brunswick.
  • Nutritional values per 100 g = Calories: 34.4; carbohydrates: 3.5 g; fat: 0.5 g; water: 85 g; protein: 4 g; fiber: 4.3 g.
  • Rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamins B, C and E, beta-carotene and folic acid.
  • Love this Martha Stewart-type tip from The Worldwide Gourmet: In the fall, you can buy whole stems of Brussels sprouts at the market that make a great centerpiece for a dinner party when presented whole on a platter. (Cook whole and glaze with butter.)
  • You can keep unwashed sprouts in a cool place for several weeks. Basement?
  • Brussels sprouts freeze well if blanched first in boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Brussels sprouts are never eaten raw.

Okay, so where is this going?
I love Brussel Sprouts, but they’re complex. Lots of layers. Hard to pick, hard to clean. But worth all the work (if you ask me). Sometimes, they can make a beautiful centerpiece. And sometimes, the house stinks for a few hours or more. You can’t take them at face value (eat them raw) but if you nurture them and cook them right, they’re a lovely delicacy.

Like life.

A stretch, you say?

Maybe.

But maybe not.

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2 responses »

  1. I love Brussel sprouts too. Then again, I also love mustard. I didn’t know the two were related, although I’ve often though I detected a horseradish-like note to them – maybe that’s actually a mustard-thing? Or maybe it’s that horseradish is another family member…? In any case, that photo makes my mouth water – did you have them for dinner tonight? Yum!

    • Yes, they were part of dinner. And they were yummy!
      My mom just said that another way brussel sprouts are like life is that sometimes they give you gas and sometimes they stink! (LOL)

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