The little green monsters polarize opinion like football and politics – and we eat more than a billion a year. What am I talking about? Brussels Sprouts!
It won its name after becoming popular in the Belgian capital in the 16th Century, but the Brussels sprout is originally thought to have come from Iran and Afghanistan. Around 5,000 years ago sprouts were prescribed by Chinese physicians as a medication for bowel problems.
In the U.S., Brussels Sprouts are the most hated vegetables. The U.K. voted it the most hated vegetable as well, but ironically, produce 6 times more than the U.S.
And the reason why lots of people don’t like them? Sprouts are hard to digest and full of sulphur-containing chemicals to deter animals from feeding on their leaves. It’s this that can clear a room in seconds. Overcooking sprouts makes them smell like rotten eggs. With high levels of sulforaphane, sprouts should be cooked for only four to six minutes.