Brussel Sprouts and Cabbage

Brussel Sprouts, Vegetable, Green

They have existed since the 16th century and found their way through Europe and across the channel to the British Isles from their native Belgium. Their larger relatives, broccoli and cabbage, had grown wild and are thought to have been domesticated centuries earlier from the Celts, presumably before 1000 B.C. Although the Romans are often given credit for introducing this vegetable to their European neighbors, the humble cabbage looks in food histories and is generally attributed to the Celts, as their armies invaded the Mediterranean areas, where the Romans embraced it (but they most certainly did not embrace the Celtic armies). It became a favorite food, as it was easy and inexpensive to grow and could be dropped into a pot of boiling water and eaten plain or in a soup or stew. No blue-blooded Irishman would observe St. Patrick’s Day without a plate of corned beef and cabbage.

Throughout history, conquering armies have taken their popular foods into other countries and, depending on the climates and growing conditions, cabbage took on various colors and appearances. Irrespective of who gets the nod for detecting this popular vegetable, it had been widely accepted in Europe and often sliced and fermented. (Once again, explorer Marco Polo missing out discovering cabbage in his travels but maybe ate it in his native Italy.)

Cabbage made its appearance in America around 1700 and was likely grown and eaten by the colonists, in addition to some Native Americans. Although usually cooked, in the 1700s the Dutch created a raw”cabbage salad” which became what is now our modern day coleslaw. Centuries before, cut up and originally eaten with vinaigrette, the Dutch took coleslaw into a new (and less healthy) level with the addition of egg, some sort of milk and fat, normally in the shape of our mayonnaise. This version was referenced in American literature as far back as 1785. Since it was highly perishable and cluttered, it certainly was not packed into the bags of military soldiers or cowboys, but it has thrived as a popular side dish with all-American sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers, and a popular salad with barbeque and fried chicken.

When the wildly popular fast food restaurant that specializes in poultry removed it from their menu, there was a nationwide uproar (including from this author). They replaced it with a kale salad, but that just didn’t cut it for coleslaw fans, which attests to its popularity. Kentucky Fried Chicken still continues to serve it as a favorite side, and no self-respecting deli would dare keep it off their menu.

And speaking of shredded cabbage, the Germans, Czechs and Polish have their beloved fermented sauerkraut, which is usually served as a hot vegetable. Jewish delis
Serve it cold as a side for a significant filling in Reuben sandwiches.

So where does this leave our Brussels sprouts? More than 90 percent of the U.S. supply of these miniature cabbages are grown in the cool climate of San Francisco and
Agricultural regions just south of the Bay. Production began in the Louisiana delta and finally found its way to the West Coast where the developing climate was more favorable.

Though they are a popular item on holiday tables, this author advises that you follow recipes from leading chefs to ensue they turn out tasty, firm and well-seasoned. And incidentally, Brussels sprouts top the list as the most hated vegetable in the U.S. and always make the top five record worldwide. So for those people in that camp, they’ll be absent from the family dinner table. Bon appetit. For more please go to¬†Melbourne FL Wildlife Removal