It’s not just you. Brussels Sprouts were gross in the 90s

Originally published at: It's not just you. Brussels Sprouts were gross in the 90s | Boing Boing


Certainly not in the case of bananas, since all bananas are clones of the same banana, and have been since I think the 19th century.

As for B-sprouts, I rarely eat them, but the last time I had some in a restaurant they still seemed to taste fairly bitter. But they were good; I figured it was just a question of whether the chef knows how to balance out the bitter flavor. ‘Course, the other problem with the sprouts I remember from childhood is that they were always (over)boiled, which doesn’t serve any vegetable well.


I always thought that it was boiling Brussels till soft that made them so obnoxious; even todays improved sprouts are appalling when bathed for too long. Roasting these bad boys with some proper fat and aromatics makes a treat though.


I think they’re a lot like lentils or rice, a somewhat neutral thing that takes up the flavor of any spice that gets added to it. I didn’t eat them growing up, and in fact didn’t encounter them till I was 19 years old, so I don’t have any memory of what the old variety was like. I don’t mind them, they’re okay.

1 Like

Obligs because there’s an XKCD for everything.


I didn’t have brussel sprouts growing up. Didn’t ever try them until my wife prepared them for a meal while we were dating. Simply drizzle olive oil, sprinkle sea salt, maybe include some garlic, and roast. So good. Too bad that’s not enough to convince our kids, otherwise our fall would be fun of these tiny cabbages.


Now I just have to figure out how to convince my father-in-law to try Brussels Sprouts again…

Grow your own. When they mature, take off the sprout tops and serve them as individual baby leaves. Assuming he does not hate all brassicas / cabbages, he’ll love them. (Well, as much as he ‘loves’ any other cabbage leaf.)
When he says they’re ok - tell him they are sprouts.


I think a modest 🇬 🇪 🇰 🇴 🇱 🇴 🇳 🇮 🇸 🇪 🇪 🇷 🇩 would be in order here.

@ the Frankendutchies: do cauliflower next.


The old-timers trick to tastier Brussels sprouts is to either leave them on the plant until after the first frost (if your climate permits), or to briefly freeze them, then defrost. You also want to steam them. EDIT: I’m from the country which has Brussels for capital.


Yeah, frosts seem to make brassicas in general tastier, tuscan black cabbage baby leaves aren’t good to eat fresh until after that first frost too.


But bananas in St Lucia (or, I imagine, elsewhere in the Caribbean) don’t taste anything like bananas bought in the UK. (Or rather, they do, but only in the sense that the ones over here are a very pale, washed-out imitation, like a heavily degraded copy of a copy of a copy.)

I remember eating one and thinking “My God, so this is what bananas are supposed to taste like.”

I miss that banana.


Fresh fruit versus fruit shipped green, sprayed to slow down ripening, and then ripening under un-ideal conditions in a store 1000 miles from home.

I remember the first time I had an avocado straight from the tree (well, right after it fell, which is the way they are supposed to be eaten). It’s a whole different experience.


There are other bannanas to be found in tropical places, sometimes we can find some of the small ones from Africa, or India in specialty shops, even with the long voyage, they taste better than the Cavendish (originally bred by Lord Cavendish in a greenhouse in the UK), supposedly the Gros Michel (thanks ryuthrowsstuff) tasted better too, but bannana blight put paid to that.

I’m pretty sure almost any fruit tastes better the closer it gets to ripeness on the plant, I know tomatoes do…


There’s a simpler explanation. And it’s that people used to cook the fuck out of them, and frozen or canned Brussel sprouts were the default thing in the US.

The spout horror of days past seems to be mostly an American concern. And the big fad for them kicked off with British tv chefs and personalities, and roasting them quickly or using them in salads instead of boiling them for 45 minutes.

My mother is still incapable of anything but cooking them till grey and sad. It’s heinous. She also keeps foisting frozen sprouts on everyone.

I think she just wants us to hate them as much as she does.

But it was a different banana until around the 50’s

There’s also hundreds of varieties of banana. We just don’t see many if them in most of the US and Canada. Our current stock banana, the Cavendish, is probably on it’s way out due to similar disease problems to what sank the Gos Michel.


As stated above, freezing Brussels sprouts actually improves the flavour. So absolutely nothing wrong with frozen sprouts.


If your sprouts taste bitter, you haven’t added enough salt and oil.


Three types in Cuba (including the plantain), each good for a different type of preparation. All yummy in their own way.


Most of the ones I got were like these, as I used to frequent a sri-lankan run store in south london, and they used to get these (only the yellow unfortunately) and honey mangos (so damn good).



Because I was a kid, and there were reasons to be grossed out by every vegetable, probably because of some off-hand comment you overheard in a cartoon or something (How much damage did the Ninja Turtles really do to the anchovies industry?)

Ah yes, the famous vegetable anchovies!


Brussels sprouts have a simpler name: spruitjes

Now define “simpler”.