Brussels sprouts are one of those veggies you either love or you hate. And when I say hate, I mean truly, emphatically hate. (I mean, there’s a reason they were voted the Most Hated Vegetable back in 2011.)
Tell a Brussels sprouts-lover you’re serving up a warm bowl of that green deliciousness for dinner, and they will audibly squee. You will bond over your shared love of something that smells questionable, but ultimately tastes delightful.
Tell a Brussels sprouts-hater that you’ve got them roasting in the oven, however, and they will probably recoil with a look of disgust. And then lie and tell you they’re allergic to things that smell like farts.
I’m a sprouts lover myself. Give me a huge bowl of Brussels sprouts any day of the week, and I’ll be a happy camper. Seriously — roast them up with garlic, steam them and throw on some butter, put them in my salad … I don’t care — I. LOVE. BRUSSELS SPROUTS.
That said, it never really occurred to me until recently that I had zero idea how these tiny little baby cabbages came to be. I mean, really: have you ever seen a Brussels sprout out in the wild? Chances are: nope. They’re usually just sitting in a little container in the grocery store, much like blueberries or strawberries, waiting to be purchased. But what their little lives were like before they make their way into our grocery carts is anyone’s guess.
Okay well, not exactly. Apparently, there are loads of people out there in the world who truly do know how Brussels sprouts are grown. Like farmers and harvesters and even people who have a moderate grasp on gardening. But for the rest of us, who struggle to keep even a small basil plant alive in our kitchens (AKA me), that doesn’t take away from the fact that discovering how Brussels sprouts are really grown — on a Brussels sprout plant — is truly mind-blowing.
That’s right: A Brussels sprouts plant.
Don’t worry — I never knew such a thing existed, either. Or that it was so truly badass-looking:
See what I mean?! These pint-sized cabbages apparently grow together in bunches, all on a thick, fibrous stalk that can grow up to two-and-a-half feet in the air. And they’re kind of … well, awesome?
The stalks themselves can hold dozens of Brussels at a time. And you can actually save money by just buying the stalk and picking the sprouts off yourself. They last longer if left on the stalk than once they’re loose and in the fridge, too.
They’re also an excellent source of Vitamin A and C, as well as protein, and … did I mention I kinda love Brussels sprouts?
So who cares if they totally smell like farts? They’re super good for you and delicious, and come on their very own Jack and the Beanstalk-like plant!
(Good luck selling your kids on that one the next time you try and serve them up, though.)