If you’re a friend on Facebook or a follower on Twitter (@runawayapricot), you probably already know about an exciting new dish that I made which features Brussels sprouts in all their glory. If you’re a fellow member of Generation Y, you probably cringed at the sound of the featured ingredient. But, far from the nasty, punishment-worthy description that 90s cartoons and family television has conditioned us to associate with the compact cabbages, Brussels sprouts can be a refreshing and delicious fall and winter vegetable.
Brussels sprouts, however, present a cooking challenge. According to Wikipedia and a few other sources, the sulfurous odor of glucosinolate sinigrin, a naturally occurring pesticide, is released when the vegetable is overcooked. Overcooking also detracts from its rich nutritional profile which stands to make it perfect for optimal health as well as weight loss. As such, one good way prepare is to cut large sprouts to even the size and blanch quickly until tender but the color is not lost.
Brussels sprouts underscore the need for all media for all demographics to better reflect nutritional ideals. Because the message of their disturbing taste was so ubiquitous, despite several contradicting examples I realize that I still upheld the social stigma and was shocked to read as Serious Eats declared Brussels sprouts to be the ingredient of the year. And, as the media I had experienced replaced Brussels sprouts with non-vegetable alternatives, the messaging surrounding this one food seemed to extend the stigma of bad taste and crazy health nut mothers to all vegetables.
People vary greatly in their willingness to give certain foods a new chance so it is important to remember that even casual jokes can have a profound and lasting impact. To all those still steeping food stigmas I challenge you to think back and try to remember why exactly you do not like a given food. If you cannot remember the reasoning, or it now seems juvenile or trivial, I challenge you to give that food another try. You can start here with Brussels sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Onion, Apple, and Ginger
Fast, easy, affordable, and delicious, the name represents nearly all the ingredients for this side dish or main course when served over rice. Follow these instructions to make it quickly and with the least amount of clean up.