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Why do brussels sprouts have a bad rap?

I just finished my lunch of balsamic glazed pork chop, brown rice and brussels sprouts (all leftovers from dinner last night). As I was eating, I was relishing each and every bite of brussels sprout and I couldn't help but wonder why they have such a bad rap.

While I was growing up, I seem to remember brussels sprouts referred to as the dreaded vegetable no kid wanted to eat on sitcoms, books, etc. Now growing up in a Korean household, I had never actually had brussels sprouts myself when I was younger, so I always wonder - would I have like brussels sprouts as a kid or is it something I would have only enjoyed as an adult?

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  1. I never realized brussel sprouts had a bad rap. I have liked them since I was a kid.

    1. People mostly overcook them, and while all members of the cabbage family get stinky when they're overcooked, sprouts are probably the worst in that regard. Once I get past that I can eat, even enjoy, overcooked ones, but many people just can't make it past the burned-rubber funk. My father-in-law, on the other hand, betrays his Upper-Midwest upbringing by requiring all of his vegetables to be cooked to mush, especially Brussels sprouts. His daughter and I prefer ours to be steamed or parboiled just until chewable, then either finished by sautéeing in butter or braised with a little bacon. I like them cold, and dressed with a little oil and lemon juice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        Agree that overcooking is the usual problem. Overcooked Brussels sprouts are both stinky and mushy. Cut cross slits in the bases so the outer leaves will not be overcooked with the core is done. A quick zap in the microwave in a covered dish with just a little water gets them ready to eat with dressing as simple as a bit of lemon juice or with any of Will's finishes. I too like them cold with a little oil and vinegar or lemon juice dressing.

      2. Agreed that overcooked is the problem. Luckily I grew up with a mom who had a keen sense of timimg in the kitchen, so I have always liked brussels. They are so cute, too! Just like tiny cabbages. Adorable.

        1. I think most people do not know how to cook them. I either pan saute or roast in the oven with garlic and some onion, comes out great.

          1. I never met a BS (thanks for the abbreviation, purple goddess) that I didn't like. Re: those who don't like them, more for us!