Brussels Sprouts and Other Acquired Tastes


I told Rii that I’d post this ABC tag on my blog, but then I found this enormous brussels sprout and realized that this was once in a lifetime blogworthy as only an enormous brussels sprout can be . . . .

So I’m making one of my favorite veggies last night, and I stumbled across what I thought must be the biggest brussels sprout ever and rushed to grab the camera to document this fantastic moment:

Some Sprout (I wanted this woven in a spider web, but you’d be surprised at how difficult that is to find. Or maybe you wouldn’t.)

The more eagle eyed among you will notice that this sprout has been cut in half, which means I just lied about rushing for the camera. What actually happened is that I stood there a bit nonplussed by this massive sprout and wondered how on earth I’d get it cooked through without boiling all the others to mush. You can imagine the tension, the anxiety. Then it occurred to me that I could just cut it in half. So I did. And only then, once my immediate problem was solved, did I think to share my discovery with all of you.

All by itself, that sprout, while impressive, just doesn’t shout “Some Sprout,” so I added a normal sized sprout for your comparing pleasure:

And that’s no mini sprout, either, it’s the normal size. But not the greatest shot, so I tried again:

Any sprout photographer worth her salt would never have placed this gem upon a printed napkin . . . but then, if I had a claim to fame, I don’t think it’d be my fabulous shots of veggies.

Obviously, I was quite pleased with my gi-normous brussels sprout and felt the need to phone either Ripleys or the Guinness people (records, not brew), thinking I’ve an award winner for sure.

But no, the biggest ever sprout award apparently goes to someone or other who in 1992 grew an 18+ pound brussels sprout, and some woman in Devon, UK (waving at Snuggles) grew this one last year :

Giant sprout

Not sure we really need the kid holding up the normal sized one, as hers is big enough to appear big without a comparison pic (unlike mine). I mean it’s bigger than her kid’s head. Now that is some sprout. So I boiled mine and ate it.

Now I know that most people dislike brussels sprouts; after all, they really are an acquired taste. As a child, I was a rather picky eater and definitely wouldn’t go near them, so my mother decided to cover them with cheese. I loved cheese (still do), and to this day, I would eat pretty much any vile food if I could dip it in cheese fondue first (ooh, or chocolate, Tally). And so I developed a taste for gorgonzola cheese on brussels sprouts; it is so very good, the slightly sharp flavor of the cheese mutes that slightly foot-like smell of the sprouts (or maybe that foot thing is the cheese? Hard to tell, but it all cancels out.).

So how on earth do we get from our tiny little list of edible foods as children to our expansive buffet of possible choices as adults? As kids, some of us had diets which included worms and other such things found in gardens and woodlands, but we’d turn our noses straight up at a grilled steak or lobster tail. This got me thinking about foods and kids and developing tastes as we get older. I know when I was a child, I loathed the taste of coffee, but I can’t imagine a day without at least two cups now. I also disliked . . . well, almost everything except plain spaghetti or rice, well not plain, but with butter. I also liked cinnamon toast, cream of tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and baked potatoes. Oh, and brussels sprouts with gorgonzola cheese on top.


41 thoughts on “Brussels Sprouts and Other Acquired Tastes

  1. Funny blog Fuzzy, that sprout looks a giant. My neighbor has a Mushroom that is a giant also. I hated spinach when growing up, but my mom used to say it is healthy, but then she added some spices it tasted heaven after that. You are so right the kids eat all sorts of thing outside but then hate these vegetables. Good read. 🙂

  2. maybe it’s just the cynic in me, but i hope they did some sort of tests on that giant brussels sprout, because it just looks like a head of cabbage to me.

    now, i was a rather picky eater when i was a child, too. my parents wouldn’t cover my veggies with cheese, though, to get me to eat them. i even asked once. *shrugs* most of the problem, i think, with my parents is that they don’t season their veggies first. but anyway, they used to lie to me about some veggies to get me to eat them. when we’d have chow mein, my dad told me the bean sprouts were chinese noodles. i kind of knew that they couldn’t be, because the texture wasn’t right, but being 6 or 8, i believed him. he also told me that the raw spinach i was eating in my salad was just dark lettuce. i still don’t care for bean sprouts, but i love spinach in my salads.

  3. When I was young I hated the taste of bell peppers.
    Today I am happy to say that bell peppers are one of my favorite foods. Green, yellow, orange, red….all the bell peppers. Yummy!!

    I also love brussel sprouts. Small little bundles of joy. They are soooooo tasty. Not so tasty if they are overcooked and mushy. Yuck!!

    A fun blog Fuzzy.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Rainy is right there is nothing worse than mushy sprouts or veggies. I always liked sharp NY cheddar on mine but just better isw ok. I’ll have to try the garaganollatolla whatever cheeze… having grown up in Kansas I saw nothing unusual about the size. MAN SIZE LOLO

  5. Oh, thanks so much, Chris! :))

    Hi Kerry; I’ve no idea how they determined that this was a brussel sprout, but I’m assuming someone did some fact checking before they ran the story. Luckily, I’m not held to any sort of standard in writing a silly blog about a big brussels sprout I found while cooking dinner! lmao My mom used to lie to me about food, too. Because I loved cheese so much, she’d tell me that things that I didn’t want to eat were “swiss” and then I’d eat them (or so she says :)). Thanks for commenting.

    I just love bell peppers, Rainy, cooked or raw; they are just yummy! Huggs

    I love sharp cheddar, Heyman; not sure I’ve had NY but I love the Vermont sharp. Yum!! :))

    No, I’m not sure at all, Gloria, if you mean the one from the news story (it’s linked so you can go and read as much as I know about it), as to mine, yes, I’m positive it was a brussels sprout. It was de-lish! :)) Huggs.

  6. I can’t believe you actually looked up the Guinness book of records for the bestest, biggest brussel sprout. You are too funny!

  7. LOL Fuzzy!!
    I was just teasing ’cause I don’t like these sprout things except that they look like one of my favourite veggies, THE CABBAGE. They sure don’t taste like cabbage though. @@@ big leafy green cabbage hugs!! xo

  8. Yay!! Thanks, Fanta, I like to do these fun ones now and then (and shhhh, I didn’t REALLY call Guinness, I just googled giant brussels sprouts). Huggs :))

    Yo, Heyman, those are indeed dirty dishes and that’s a lovely covering of foamy dishsoap on top. teehee These hadn’t been there that long at all, just yesterday (but they’re *still* there now, as I’ve not unloaded the dishwasher yet because I can’t tear myself away from this computer. Argghh).

    lmao Gloria, wasn’t sure whatcha meant, so I covered all the bases; oddly, I can’t stand cooked cabbage, though I like sauerkraut and cole slaw, go figure! (not sure those are spelled right but trying to break away now and don’t want to look them up :)) Lots o’ huggs and love to you, xx

  9. Great blog…I happen to like brussel sprouts – but that mutant one worries me a bit – was it grown near a nuclear plant? Actually, I’m wondering how it tasted – I know that absurdly large zucchini don’t taste as good as the smaller ones….but never having tasted an enormous sproud – tell me, does size really matter?

  10. Hiya 🙂

    Cheese I have *always* struggled with. I think I was in my mid-twenties when I tried a cheese flan … then decided I liked it. Then tried a piece of uncooked cheese and had to evacuate it from my mouth. Cooked? I can eat Uncooked? I cannot eat.

    It’s a fact that we acquire our tastes for food early in life; the more variety we are given as children opens up or ability to customise our eating habits. There is also ‘blended’ tastes that come into that too; if you like dairy products there is every chance you would like cheese, that isn’t always the case of course I’m talking ‘odds-are’ here. But our taste buds do define individual tastes from a single item; foodstuffs hold like-for-like components that make up another food-stuff that we would go on to like; which they too have like-for-like components and so on; so it’s by association as a guide, not as a rule.

    That holds true for me because I didn’t like dairy products and I could *not* drink milk as a child; If I tried it would not stay in my stomach. But, when I acquired the taste for cooked cheese in my mid-twenties (which I never thought to try) I then found I could drink milk too because there was like-for-like association.

    *yawn* Are you bored yet? … :-/

    Hugs 🙂


  11. bahahahaha – you are just the funniest thing I have come across yet….bloody lovely Fuzz!!!! I LOVE Brussel sprouts…why are they called Brussel Sprouts though….did they originate in Brussels? Or did some guy called Brussels go “hey these tiny cabbagey looking sprouts look good to eat” and name them after himself? Best way to eat them is boiled in salty water till they are Al Dente (and who tf is Al?) and then freshly salted with ground sea salt….wouldn’t touch them as a kid myself but hey as an adult I have acquired a MATURE palate – bahahaha – or something like that – or maybe its just that my Mum isn’t here telling me I HAVE to eat everything on my plate so I can actually enjoy my food! AND – the kid holding the gian sprout….it looks like a chinese cabbage doesn’t it? (The sprout – not the kid – well….). Now here’s another thought – would you serve Brussels up on a first dinner date..”I cooked for you..hope you like Brussels Sprouts with Gorgonzola”??
    Lots of new friend love to you Fuzz…Ali xx

  12. your list of kid foods sound like th universal list. I grew up loving the little green sprouts. i will eat them raw, with butter, or mayo or all by themselves. We at a lot of veggies in outr house, and not a lot of junk food. so, we grew up likeing them. I just cant seem to aquire the taste for onions. This is ther kind of blog I love to read, especially from you.

  13. lmao @ your childhood food pickiness…Alex is going through exactly that. In the past few weeks we’ve had refusals to eat anything but salami for breakfast, a refusal to eat anything on his plate because “it’s got bits on it” (?), he doesn’t like ketchup any more, he doesn’t like anything green except the tiniest portion of broccoli, he’d eat just carbohydrates at every meal as all he wants is bread, pasta, rice or potatoes. Carb freak child. He’s crazy about yoghurt though, and roast chicken, but that’s about it at this point 😐

    And that giant sprout the kid is holding…looks kinda just like a cabbage!
    I only like sprouts with chestnut or cooked with bits of bacon. Otherwise, they’re just wrong and give me stomach ache.
    Enjoy your day:)

  14. I love this blog! Reminds of the little newspapers across the south where they put this biggest pumpkin or watermelon or hornest nest next to the person who found it. 🙂 Chicken liver and buttermilk are the two hated things that I love that everyone else hates. Brussell sprouts are pretty good….like you say, covered in cheese!

  15. Hei Fuzz.

    Never heard of eating BS with BC – that is Blue Cheese or as it is also called, Gorgonzola
    – but it does sound delish if I could make meself swallow the sprouts without spitting ’em out of me gob!!
    NASTY piece of veg, so they are. <>
    I do love vegetables like Aubergine, Avocados and so on but with BS and Celery, I draw the line!
    HuGGiz from Da Ikkle Finn Rii xx

    PS. Fun and so great blog.

  16. Snuggles waves back at Fuzzy from Devon! Hello there!

    Well I don’t think that big thing he is holding is a sprout it does look like a cabbaage. I think you should win the award for this one.

    I used to hate tomotoes but love Tomotoe sauce. I never used to like red wine either but think my tastes are changing with that one as I am beginning to like that now. O never ever ever drunk coffee either and have to have about three of four in the day now. Especially in the morning at work!

    Big big hugs to you (like the brussell, he he) x

  17. hahaha!! Are you sure that is not a mini cabbage??
    My older brother loves the BS (both types).
    Maybe I would like it more with a little gorgonzola. Everything tastes better with cheese, I think.

  18. omg….always hated and still hate the flatulent BS!…well,its true in my case!..blushing at the thought of the last time i was invited for christmas dinner!
    Childhood foods got me thinking about Gripe Water…did you have that in America?
    It was and still is a popular remedy for babies with colic but the ingredients have changed over time. The main ones remain to be fennel,dill,sodium bicarbonate but till 1992 alcohol was a major ingredient too!…….
    i remember so clearly demanding and if not available,building a little tower from cushions to the out of reach cupboard,drinking it in secret!…must have been around 3 or 4!
    Not really changed actually…just a bit more,perhaps, refined in my taste! lol
    This little anecdote crops up frequently in my clinic!…but tell parents it doesnt work anymore cos some silly mothers in 1992 got the alcohol banned from the remedy!
    Rash x

  19. lol on the mutant sprout + nuclear power plant question, Em! And many thanks for the compliment on the post. As to size mattering, you must know that it matters in all things! huggs to you

    That’s interesting, Frankie, that you can’t eat uncooked cheese but are okay with it being cooked; wonder what that’s about? But at least you can enjoy it sometimes! :)) Ugh, can’t stand milk . . . plain milk in a glass, I mean; it’s fine in soup or whatever, but I can’t drink it. Yuck. And NO, definitely not bored. Would you stop with that? I love your comments! :))

    OMG, Ali, I’m rolling over here! You are too hilarious. Yep, that’s me, invite some guy to dinner and serve up foul food . . . L4 You rock, Girl!! New friend huggs and love right back at you! xx

    Mayo, huh, Lisa? On sprouts? Interesting, I’ll have to try that. Well, prolly not, as I can’t stand mayo except on BLT’s or in some salad (tuna, potato, etc.). Don’t like onions, huh? I love them, cooked or raw. Huggs and many thanks for your compliment!! Appreciate it muchly, TME huggs xx

    Thanks, Tally!! Got bits on it? Hmmmm . . . is that like things are touching on the plate? I used to hate that (and secretly still do; oooh, there’s my dirty little secret for your blog!) It’s funny how kids just want carbs, I was the same way. But at least he likes chicken, so that’s good. And broccoli? Awesome, even if only a little bit. Thanks for your fab comment! Huggs to you TFT :))

  20. lol, thanks, Pris. Now that you mention it, this does remind me of fairs around where I’m from with the biggest pumpkin and squash! Teehee And my mom LOVES chicken livers, they kind of gross me out, but hey, more for you, right?! Huggs to you, Priceless Pris xx

    Smiles at Rii, thanks. See and avacados make me go all shuddery ick, I can’t even stand guacamole, and I just love Mexican food (apart from that, I mean). Isn’t it fun to learn of each other’s tastes? See if you ever come visit me, I know to get in GOOD coffee, avacado, and Lindt chocolates! 😉 Honest huggs to your most dignified self xx

    Yay! Snuggles :)) Waving and jumping up and down and flapping arms. Only not manically. Well, sort of. Teehee. I really don’t care for red wine, either, though there are some pinkish ones I rather like; I’m a white wine person all the way. But tomatoes and coffee? Yum Huggs to you fab and marvelous Snuggles (and all the usual from Banbury to Marm xx)

    LOL @ brother liking BS, Nancy, and I totally agree, everything does taste better with cheese!! Yum. :))

    Hmmm, Rash, brussels don’t have the effect on me. Thank God! Ugh. No brussels for you. Don’t know about “gripe water”; I’ve never heard of it, but I’ve never been around a colicky (sp?) baby, so wouldn’t have a frame of reference. I’m a big fan of giving kids alcohol, though. Hehe, just kidding. :)) Huggs, Rash xx

    Lol, Michael, guess you REALLY hate them as you’ve posted it twice. Teehee. xx

  21. I’m not very good at knowing foods just eating them. I’m thinking ok small one is Brussels sprout and the big one is a cabbage? What’s all the hoopla about? *Munch*

  22. Well Fuzzy, I really don’t like them. However, it is not such a strong hatered that I would post that comment twice. Many times, this dam computer just gets the best of me! I should have tightened my helmet!

  23. I do not like Brussels sprouts, I do not like them at all. I do not like them in a pot, I do not like them on the spot, I do not like them in a house, I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them at all!

  24. lol@ the “munch” Ember / Elmo (I kind of like the “Elmo” now and may just call you that! :)) Huggs dear

    I figured as much, Michael, I know you well enough to know that you aren’t THAT against anything as inconsequential as a brussels sprout! lmao Huggs

    LOL, Seusical Amber, love that!! :))

  25. The worrisome thing about that brussel sprout is that someone, somewhere out there may be using a similar giant vegetable for a purpose other than

    Weirdly enough, someone on Yahoo Answers asked if giant veggies could be used a escape pods in case aliens invade.. Half the responses were affirmative. So there’s another alternative use right there.. 🙂

  26. I am SO screwed if my only chance of escaping death by invading alien is to escape in a giant brussels sprout! I’d never fit. But that does remind me (fondly) of the first time I read James and the Giant Peach! Such fun. But come on! What giant veg have you ever seen that could house a human? Even that kid is too small for a brussels sprout o’ spaceship. lmao. Thanks for the good humor and giggles, Sarge. Huggs :))

  27. Brussel Sprouts are the food that taught my parents JUST how stubborn I could truly be. Mom made them one night for dinner. I was just a young sprout myself. I am sure she didn’t place more than two or three on my plate. I took a bite, gagged, and refused to continue eating them. I was told I would sit at the table until I finished them. I think an hour went by before my parents raised the white flag and surrendered. Realizing how tastes can change, I tried them again a year or so ago. Nope. Still don’t like them. And, as much as I love gorgonzola and chees in general, I am not sure that would make them more palatable to me. So, I will give it another ten years and give them a try again. (I usually try things I don’t/didn’t like ever ten years or so to see if there has been a change in my tastebuds.) Oddly enough, as a child, my brother loved spinach, but despised hamburgers. (turns out it wasn’t really the hamburgers, but the mustard…thank God for Burger King and the ability to have it HIS way.)

  28. Oh TRY it, LO, you may really like the combination. You know how some things by themselves taste nasty or just not good, but then with something else, yum! Same thing. And I just love this story, so you really are stubborn. Or just a woman of your own convictions. Yay!! 😀 And lol @ Burger King ref. 😀

  29. Oh God, I sound like a dork! Now I remember why I don’t go back and read old stuff I’ve written.

    “maybe it’s just the cynic in me, but i hope they did some sort of tests on that giant brussels sprout, because it just looks like a head of cabbage to me.”
    SHUT UP! *hangs head in shame*

    • YOU sound like a dork? I took (several!) pictures of a freaking brussels sprout AND then shared them with decent people. It really doesn’t get more dorky than that.

      Besides, it DOES look like a cabbage. 😉

      • Yes, but /that/ is understandable because that is the kind of thing that needs to be shared, Fuzzy! If we don’t photograph what we’re eating and share it with the world, how will anyone know?!

        • I think I was trying to be amusing rather than informative (unless I actually thought anyone cared about what I ate. That goes way beyond dork, though). I forget what amusing sounds like these days, so maybe that wasn’t it at all. Sigh

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