A new poll by the Harris group in England has revealed some interesting statistics about Brussel Sprouts. The results certainly reveal a lot about the British.

For those of you that are not familiar with these little gems, it is a vegetable that looks like a Japanese Bonsai cabbage.

The Harris poll of almost 3000 people showed that 75% of Brits eat Brussel Sprouts, with older people preferring them more than the younger generation. The poll also contained questions about whether or not Brussel Sprouts caused flatulence.

Being a good newshound, with a nose for a story, how could I turn down this great opportunity for a world wide BNN scoop. Via E-Mail I contacted Madeleine Waters who is spearheading the ‘Learn to Love a Sprout’ campaign and asked for more information.

Apparently the organization is still in the early stages and does not yet have a web site, however I am sure that this will change soon. Madeline was very gracious and sent me a great deal of information about the lowly Brussel sprout.

 “They are thought to come from the area of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. During the sixteenth century they became popular in Belgium and their popularity then spread to the rest of Europe”, I assume that is where they get their name from.

As far as flatulence is concerned..
Sprouts only cause problems when they are cooked for too long. “After between 5 and 8 minutes, the cellulose breaks down and the sprouts start to release their sulphur compounds,” explains James. So if you want to enjoy a flatulence-free Christmas, be sure keep your sprouts’ cooking time to a minimum. 

Personally I like Brussel Sprouts (I am a brit), my wife on the other hand hates them (She is a Cajun) and Brussel Sprouts were the source of a year long battle in our household. I had a small bag of the delightful little critters in the freezer, every time we returned from the grocery store and were putting things in the freezer Jan would ask me if I still wanted ‘those icky things’. Eventually I said no, it was a war of attrition, and as usual my wife eventually won.

I am almost on the verge of registering LoveBrusselSprouts.org 🙂

Simon Barrett


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