The Marmite of Christmas

Do brussels sprouts really deserve their bad reputation?



Not at all.

Year by year, the sprout is shunned by those who resolutely oppose its unique smell, taste, and texture. Yet for many, sprouts are an essential component of the Christmas dinner. They argue that they are better than pigs-in-blankets, parsnips, and stuffing.
In my view, this delightful vegetable is both misunderstood and undervalued, so how could I persuade an anti-sproutist to give it another chance?
For me, sprouts are not only tasty and comforting, but a symbol of my open attitude towards different food types. For those who dislike the veg, consider your exact motivations as to why. Do you nurse a childish defiance of all things green and healthy, or do you simply conform to the general aversion of the sprout? Of course, you may honestly hate the taste – but when was the last time you actually ate it?
Although generally associated with Christmas dinner, the sprout conceals within its leaves endless possibilities of culinary potential: it can be boiled, steamed, roasted, grilled, stir-fried, and even sautéed. What’s more, it is packed with a wonderful quantity of vitamins and minerals. So open up your taste buds and give sprouts another go.


Every Christmas, the brussels sprout divides families across the country. But why do they evoke such negative feelings at the happiest time of the year? Firstly, the smell: catching a whiff of a boiled up sprout, for some, can be enough to put you off your turkey. Then there’s the taste, much the same as the smell but with an added bitter twist. The texture does little to improve the experience: a soggy inside wrapped in a leafy jacket.
Despite these off-putting qualities, each year they are proudly placed on the table by whichever relative has been dealt the daunting task of preparing the little green balls of festive unpleasantness. Inevitably you will be forced to consume at least one (to get in the festive spirit!) and will most likely be left with a sense of resentment, regret and a really bad taste in your mouth. This in itself is a reason to hate the glorified dwarf cabbage.
The brussels sprout is given a hard time but, let’s be honest, rightfully so. Unfortunately for sprout haters, eating them has become a deeply ingrained British tradition, so we’ll have to grit our teeth and hold our noses, all for the sake of Christmas.


Leave a comment

Please note our disclaimer relating to comments submitted. Please do not post pretending to be another person. Nouse is not responsible for user-submitted content.