I'll toss this post into the "garden" group.
After several days of 50 degree temps, the snow all melted, and ,voila, three Brussels sprouts plants emerged! I was rather surprised how large the little cabbages had become.
So, I cut 2 of the plants down and took them indoors. After next week's predicted cold temps, I feared for their lives. It goes without saying, I love Bs's! Delicious.
My garden is still producing kale and collards, both planted in 2011! Amazing to have survived North central Indiana winters (global warming?). I even picked enough lettuce for a salad last night (with green chives and dill). This can't last for long--can it??
Good for you. Haven't tried growing Brussels sprouts for many years, but now you reminded me, I'm going to try growing them again next year. I like them in chicken soup, cooked long enough to soften and remove the bitterness.
I still have some lettuce under the snow that's probably edible. I was picking some leaves as I wanted until the snow came. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.
I grew some chives and used them for the first time this year. Nice with mashed potatoes. I think I could find some of those still under the snow also.
You know, I've seldom found B.s's to be bitter. Maybe it's my soil. It's just fun to mess around (ok, experiment) with garden stuff. I once planted seeds from a hybrid squash, and the results were all sorts of different "babies"--a most colorful sight! Appreciate the comment.
I Looked-up some info on bitterness and founc that genetically, some people can't taste bitter at all, others, called supertasters, are very sensitive to it, and there are all shades in between.
I don't think I'm a supertaster, but I do boil Brussels sprouts until they are very soft to get rid of the bitterness. I also find coffee to be way too bitter unless I add a huge amount of sugar, cream, and other flavors. Even light beer is nasty. I've also tried dandelions in all stages of growth and find them inedible because of the bitterness.
Reading about Brussels sprouts, they say most of the bitterness is in the stem end. I cut the ends off, but not as much as some people do. Some also cut crosses in the stem end, and I would guess that would get more heat to the bitter end. Adding sugar may help also.
I'm going to try cutting more off and see what that does for me. I also read how others prepared them and will try those methods. I've probably eaten them other ways, but all I can remember is boiling them in chicken soup.
The first thing I anxious to try is slicing them in half and sauteing them in a fry-pan. I'm also going to try them shredded and baked.
Remember Geo. H.W. Bush hating brocolli? I thought at the time, how could anybody not like brocolli? Same with Brussels sprouts. Turns out (as you alluded to) humans have radically different taste buds when it comes to "bitter". We used to chastize little kids for making weird faces when eating certain vegetables. Well, some of them (I don't know the %) have highlighted bitter sensitivities. I'm guessing you're among them. And all the "doctoring them up" in the world won't remove that particular taste.
I micro, stir fry, saute, boil, and bake the little buggers by themselves or in a variety of things. I do cut off the hard stems (but no x's). Of course, my B.s's come straight from the garden. I don't like beer, period. Too bitter for even my taste! Anyway, good luck with your experiments in preparation.
How wonderful! They are good for you too.
Yes, indeed. And very versatile.
We just ate roasted Brussel Sprouts for dinner last night... how wonderful it would be to grow our own! I never even looked into it, as I'm in north central Florida, so I doubt it would work. It is amazing (and a bit frightening) that the incredibly warm temps have allowed so much to continue to grow. Enjoy your bounty!
I hope your sprouts weren't from a can! Yuck. I can still recall their taste. You might be able to grow them in your area, esp. in the winter. They say Bs's taste better after a frost, and that's an infrequent occurance for you. But heck, if you have some room, go for it!
I didn't even know they came in a can! That sounds terrible. No, ours were fresh from the grocer. I'll have to look into it for next winter, thanks!
Randall, home grown brussels sprouts sounds awesome! Somewhere I also read they are better after a freeze. Same for carrots and horseradish.
Do you shelter your Kale and Collards in some way?
Planting in 2011, maybe you let them go to seed? I read brassicas produce seeds in their 2nd year.
First off, it appears I can now "reply" under comments! Hurray!
Brassicas are very hardy, even brocolli. I mulch them with pine needles and leaves and have been known to cover them with blankets. Otherwise, I leave them alone. Rabbits like 'em.
I allow many vegetable plants (kale, etc.) to go to seed--IF they survive the winter. With spinach, lettuce, parsnips, I collect seeds (or let them scatter their own) for a Fall into Winter crop. I don't go to the effort you go to. I just let mother nature do its thing. My garden often looks rather wild and out of control!
And yes, like persimmons, Brussels sprouts DO taste better after a frost/freeze.