Brussels sprout: Wikis


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Brussels Sprout
Brussels sprouts, cultivar unknown
Brussels sprouts, cultivar unknown
Brassica oleracea
Cultivar Group
Gemmifera Group
Brussels, year unknown
Cultivar Group members

The Brussels (or brussels) sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) of the Brassicaceae family, is a Cultivar group of wild cabbage cultivated for its small (typically 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.6 in) diameter) leafy green buds, which resemble miniature cabbages.

Brussels sprouts grow in temperature ranges of 7 to 24°C (45 to 75°F), with highest yields at 15 to 18°C (59 to 64°F).[1] Plants grow from seeds in seedbeds or greenhouses, and are transplanted to growing fields.[1]. Fields are ready for harvest 90-180 days after planting.[2] The edible sprouts grow like buds in a spiral array on the side of long thick stalks of approximately 60 to 120 cm (24 to 47 in) in height, maturing over several weeks from the lower to the upper part of the stalk. Sprouts may be picked by hand into baskets, in which case several harvests are made of 5-15 sprouts at a time, by cutting the entire stalk at once for processing, or by mechanical harvester, depending on variety.[2] Each stalk can produce 1.1 to 1.4 kg (2.4 to 3.1 lb), although the commercial yield is approximately 900 g (2.0 lb) per stalk.[1] In the home garden, "sprouts are sweetest after a good, stiff frost."[3]

Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species that includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi: they are cruciferous. They contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre. Moreover, they are believed to protect against colon cancer, due to their containing sinigrin [4]. Although they contain compounds such as goitrin that can act as goitrogens and interfere with thyroid hormone production, realistic amounts in the diet do not seem to have any effect on the function of the thyroid gland in humans.[5]



North America

Production of Brussels sprouts in the United States began around 1800, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana.[1] The first plantings in California's Central Coast began in the 1920s, with significant production beginning in the 1940s. Currently there are several thousand acres planted in coastal areas of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties of California, which offer an ideal combination of coastal fog and cool temperatures year-round. The harvest season lasts from June through January.[2][6] They are also grown in Baja California, Mexico, where the harvest season is from December through June.[6]

Much of the United States production is in California, with a smaller percentage of the crop grown in Skagit Valley, Washington, where cool springs, mild summers and rich soil abounds and to a lesser degree on Long Island, New York.[7] Total United States production is approximately 32,000 tons, with a value of $27 million.[1] Ontario, Canada produces approximately 1,000 tons per year.[8]

80% to 85% of US production is for the frozen food market, with the remainder for fresh consumption.[7] Once harvested, sprouts last 3-5 weeks under ideal near-freezing conditions before wilting and discoloring, and about half as long at refrigerator temperature.[1] American varieties are generally 2.5–5 cm (0.98–2.0 in) in diameter.[1]


Europeans prefer smaller varieties with bulbs approximately 1.3 cm (0.51 in) in diameter.[1] In Continental Europe the largest producers are the Netherlands, at 82,000 metric tons, and Germany, at 10,000 tons. The United Kingdom has production comparable to that of the Netherlands, but it is not generally exported. [9]

Brussel sprouts, raw (edible parts), 100g
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 179 kJ (43 kcal)
Carbohydrates 8.95 g
Sugars 2.2 g
Dietary fiber 3.8 g
Fat 0.30 g
Protein 3.38 g
Vitamin A equiv. 38 μg (4%)
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.139 mg (11%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.090 mg (6%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.745 mg (5%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.309 mg (6%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 61 μg (15%)
Vitamin C 85 mg (142%)
Vitamin E 0.88 mg (6%)
Calcium 42 mg (4%)
Iron 1.4 mg (11%)
Magnesium 23 mg (6%)
Phosphorus 69 mg (10%)
Potassium 389 mg (8%)
Sodium 25 mg (1%)
Zinc 0.42 mg (4%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Cooking and preparation

The most common method of preparing Brussel sprouts for cooking begins with removal of the buds from the stalk. Any surplus stem is cut away, and the surface leaves that are loosened by this cutting are peeled and discarded. Cooking methods include boiling, steaming and roasting. To ensure even cooking throughout, buds of a similar size are usually chosen. Some cooks will cut a cross in center of the stem to aid the penetration.

Whatever cooking method is employed, overcooking is avoided. Overcooking releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulfurous odor. The odor is the reason many people profess to dislike Brussel sprouts, if they've only tried them overcooked with the accompanying sulfuric taste and smell. Generally 6–7 minutes boiled or steamed is enough to cook them thoroughly, without overcooking and releasing the sinigrin.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Brussel Sprouts". University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  2. ^ a b c "Brussel sprouts info". Pfyffer Associates. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  3. ^ Crocket, James: Crockett's Victory Garden, page 187. Little, Brown and Company, 1977.
  4. ^ Bowden, Jonny, [The 150 healthiest foods on earth], p. 27, Fair Winds 2007
  5. ^ McMillan M, Spinks EA, Fenwick GR (January 1986). "Preliminary observations on the effect of dietary brussel sprouts on thyroid function". Hum Toxicol 5 (1): 15–9. PMID 2419242. 
  6. ^ a b "Where Brussels Sprouts are Growing Today". Ocean Mist Farms. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  7. ^ a b "Crop Profile for Brussel Sprouts in California". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  8. ^ Siva Mailvaganam (2004-08-03). "Area, Production and Farm Value ofSpecified Commercial Vegetable Crops, Ontario, 1998-2001". Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  9. ^ "The small market study: Brussel sprouts.". SMP. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Alternative spellings


brussel sprouts

Recorded since 1748. Named after Brussels, the capital city of the duchy of Brabant and presently of Belgium. sprout is from Old English -sprutan (in asprutan "to sprout"; cognate with Old Saxon sprutan, Old Frisian spruta, Middle Dutch spruten, modern Dutch spruit 'sprout; Brussels sprout' Old High German spriozan, German spreissen "to sprout"), from the Proto-Germanic root *spreutanan (), from PIE base *sper- "to strew"


Brussels sprout

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprout (plural Brussels sprouts)

  1. (botany) The green vegetable Brassica oleracea gemmifera, a cabbage native to Belgium.
    Brussels sprouts reach a length of 4 centimeters and resemble clusters of miniature cabbages.


Usage notes

  • rarely used in the singular.


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