7 choses que vous ne saviez pas sur les choux de Bruxelles

Think Brussels sprouts are bland and boring? Think again. John Morgan, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/5omcPd

John Morgan, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/5omcPd

J’étais étonné de voir ma première tige de choux de Bruxelles à un marché fermier. Ces petits choux poussaient le long d’une grosse tige, comme une masse médiévale!

Quel est l’origine de ces petits légumes? Pourquoi-sont-ils plus délicieux maintenant que je suis adulte? Peut-être c’est à cause de l’addition de l’ail et du bacon.

Que signifie le nom?

Les Romains étaient les premiers à cultiver les choux de Bruxelles. Par l’année 1586, les Belges étaient fous de ce légume. Ils les vendaient dans les marchés de Bruxelles, d’où vient le nom. Ce serait intéressant si les autres légumes avaient des noms similaires.

Comment sont-ils arrivés au Canada?

La popularité des choux de Bruxelles s’étaient propagé en France et en Angleterre. Thomas Jefferson était un grand fan – il les a introduits aux États-Unis en 1812. J’imagine que les choux de Bruxelles avaient envahi le Canada par là. Ils sont aussi cultivés en Australie et en Europe. Les choux de Bruxelles sont allergiques au chaud, alors ils trouvent au Canada un climat idéal. La plupart des variétés qui poussent au Canada sont des hybrides qui viennent du Japon ou des Pays-Bas.

Le roi des choux

Ontario grows tonnes of Brussels sprouts. Amanda Slater, Autumn at Barnsdale Gardens https://flic.kr/p/hLHMva

Amanda Slater, Autumn at Barnsdale Gardens https://flic.kr/p/hLHMva

La Colombie-Britannique produit la plus grande quantité de choux de Bruxelles au Canada, suivi de l’Ontario et du Québec. La récolte canadien vaut $7 million par année. Pas pire pour un petit légume amer!

Parler calmement tout en adoptant la politique des… choux de Bruxelles?

Brussels sprout stalks look like ideal tools for hunting dinosaurs. Or you could just eat them instead. Photo by Mia, Brussels sprout. CC. https://flic.kr/p/rzRSf

Photo by Mia, Brussels sprout. CC. https://flic.kr/p/rzRSf

Comparé aux choux qui poussent une seule tète, les choux de Bruxelles poussent des douzaines. Et vous pensiez que c’était seulement leur gout qui est horrifiante! Les petits choux sont les bourgeons qui se développent au long de la tige d’un mètre de grandeur. Il a l’air d’une messe de guerre. Les choux sont prêts à enlever l’automne ou l’hiver.

Rempli de la valeur nutritive

Mom was right, Brussels sprouts are good for you. Chris Yarzab, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/czyrXL

Chris Yarzab, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/czyrXL

Les choux de Bruxelles contiennent de la fibre, des vitamines A, C et K et du manganèse. Les choux les plus petites sont les plus gouteux. Il ne faut pas les trop cuire- sinon ils pueraient.

Est-ce qu’ils sont reliés aux choux?

Does this look like cabbage or kale to you? There's a good reason for it. Ed Mitchell, Top of a Brussels Sprout Plant. CC. https://flic.kr/p/3eKwrQ

Ed Mitchell, Top of a Brussels Sprout Plant. CC. https://flic.kr/p/3eKwrQ

Les choux de Bruxelles ont l’air de petits choux pour une bonne raison –ils font partie de la même espèce! En effet, les choux fleurs, les brocolis, le chou frisé et le chou-rave font tous parti d’espèce Brassica olercacea. Par l’élevage soigneux, les êtres humains ont créé tous ces légumes différents, de la même façon qu’ils ont créé tous les chiens différents à parti de Canis familiaris.

La plante originale de la Méditerranée avait des feuilles nutritives avec le gout de chou frisé. Les choux de Bruxelles étaient la dernière des cultures développées à parti de cette plante.

La vie sexuelle des choux

Croyez-le ou non, les choux de Bruxelles ont des fleurs. Ils sont jaunes et ils ont quatre pétales. On les oublie parce qu’on mange que des feuilles.

Comme les variétés de chien différent, les choux de Bruxelles et les choux normaux peuvent se reproduire entre eux. Mais je n’en ai aucune idée de quoi ils ont l’air, ces bébés!

En effet, en 2010 une compagnie en Grande Bretagne a croisé les choux frisés avec les choux de Bruxelles, et le résultat était des choux de Bruxelles frisées.

Alors qu’est-ce que vous attendez? Allez manger un bol de ces petits trésors!

References

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/cabbage/
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/82409/Brussels-sprouts
https://www.ontario.ca/foodland/food/brussels-sprouts
http://www.brussels-sprouts.com/BSINFO.htm
http://botanistinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/the-extraordinary-diversity-of-brassica-oleracea/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/fruitandvegetables/10243047/How-many-more-variations-of-cabbage-can-we-breed.html
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/brussels-sprouts/

7 things you didn’t know about brussels sprouts

Think Brussels sprouts are bland and boring? Think again. John Morgan, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/5omcPd

Think Brussels sprouts are bland and boring? Think again. John Morgan, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/5omcPd


When I first saw brussels sprouts at a farmer’s market I was flabbergasted. Who knew that these little cabbages grew along a large stick, looking for all the world like a medieval club?

What were these bizarre little veggies anyways? Why do I suddenly love them after hating them as a child? Okay, adding sautéed bacon and garlic may have something to do with it.

What’s in a name?

Why are they called brussels sprouts? Because it sounds better than Paris sprouts or Rome sprouts?

Brussels sprouts were first grown by the Romans. By 1586 the Belgians were growing them like crazy. They were sold in markets in Brussels, which gave them their name. Wouldn’t it be interesting if other vegetables were named like this?

How did they make it to Canada?

From Belgium the sprouts became popular in England and France. Apparently Thomas Jefferson was a fan, because he introduced them to the United States in 1812. I assume that from there they crept into Canada. They are also grown in Europe and Australia.

Today, most of the sprouts grown in Canada don’t come from Belgium, but are hybrids made in Japan or Holland. Sprouts need a cool climate and are allergic to heat, so Canada is a perfect place for them.

Rolling in green

Ontario grows tonnes of Brussels sprouts. Amanda Slater, Autumn at Barnsdale Gardens https://flic.kr/p/hLHMva

Ontario grows tonnes of Brussels sprouts. Amanda Slater, Autumn at Barnsdale Gardens https://flic.kr/p/hLHMva


Which province in Canada produces the most Brussels sprouts? If you guessed BC, you’re right! Ontario and Quebec are close seconds. Every year, the sprouts harvest in Canada is worth over $7 million. Not bad for a bitter veggie people love to hate.

Apparently Canadians have a bigger taste for sprouts than Americans. When we don’t make enough locally we’ll import some from California. The advent of frozen food also increased demand for brussels sprouts. In Ontario the main variety grown is Jade E. Now doesn’t that sound exotic and exciting?


Speak softly and carry…brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprout stalks look like ideal tools for hunting dinosaurs. Or you could just eat them instead. Photo by Mia, Brussels sprout. CC. https://flic.kr/p/rzRSf

Brussels sprout stalks look like ideal tools for hunting dinosaurs. Or you could just eat them instead. Photo by Mia, Brussels sprout. CC. https://flic.kr/p/rzRSf


Instead of having one head like a lettuce, Brussels sprouts grow multiple heads along the stem. Just when you thought brussels sprouts couldn’t get less horrifying. The main stem is 2-3 feet long and the sprouts are leaf buds that develop along it. Brussels sprouts have mini stems inside, which you’ll see when you cut them in half. And, as I said, it looks like a knobby war club!

The sprouts grow from the bottom of the plant up. They are ready to pull off the stick in fall or early winter.

Full of goodies

Mom was right, Brussels sprouts are good for you. Chris Yarzab, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/czyrXL

Mom was right, Brussels sprouts are good for you. Chris Yarzab, Brussels Sprouts. CC. https://flic.kr/p/czyrXL


What are these green balls good for? Well brussels sprouts have lots of fibre, vitamin A, C and K as well as manganese.

With sprouts, bigger is not better. Small is beautiful and tasty.

Apparently if you draw an X on them with a knife they will cook evenly. Hmm, I might have to try that.

Don’t cook them too long, or they’ll go grey and stinky. If you start smelling sulfur, stop cooking.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Does this look like cabbage or kale to you? There's a good reason for it. Ed Mitchell, Top of a Brussels Sprout Plant. CC. https://flic.kr/p/3eKwrQ

Does this look like cabbage or kale to you? There’s a good reason for it. Ed Mitchell, Top of a Brussels Sprout Plant. CC. https://flic.kr/p/3eKwrQ


There’s a good reason that brussels sprouts look like little cabbages- they’re the same species! In fact, Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi and brussels sprouts also belong to the species Brassica oleracea. Just like domestic dogs, these differently-shaped vegetables were created by humans through careful breeding of the wild cabbage.

Just like with dogs, different people bred the plant to do different things. Some wanted huge hunting dogs, others wanted tiny lap-dogs. brussels sprouts are the tiny lapdog.

The original wild cabbage was just a weedy little plant in the Mediterranean with nutritious leaves. Now it’s one of the world’s most important food crops. It looked and tasted a lot like kale and collard greens. Brussels sprouts were a late bloomer, and were the last kind of cabbage that ancient gardeners developed.

Brussels sprout sex

Believe it or not, brussels sprouts have flowers! We don’t think about them because we eat the leaves, but their flowers are yellow with four petals.

Just like different dog breeds, brussels sprouts and cabbage can mate with each other and have babies. I’m just not sure what those babies would look like.

Actually, we know what they’d look like. In 2010, the British company Tozer bred a hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts. It looks like a stem of frilly spouts. They call it a flower sprout.

Cabbage may look like lettuce, but don’t be fooled! Lettuce is in the sunflower family, while cabbage is the mustard family.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and eat some brussels sprouts!

References

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/cabbage/
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/82409/Brussels-sprouts
https://www.ontario.ca/foodland/food/brussels-sprouts
http://www.brussels-sprouts.com/BSINFO.htm
http://botanistinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/the-extraordinary-diversity-of-brassica-oleracea/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/fruitandvegetables/10243047/How-many-more-variations-of-cabbage-can-we-breed.html
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/brussels-sprouts/

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