Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

By David Wantz, University of Indianapolis

No, they are not little cabbages. They are death balls. I like cabbage and can’t stand brussels sprouts. A botanist can tell you they are a brassica related to mustards and wild cabbages. The wild cabbage association, I get.

Traipse around in the woods in early spring and you’ll see plenty of wild cabbage poking up out of the frozen earth. Skunk cabbage makes it own heat. You can look it up. While they are not taxonomically related, they are gastronomically related to brussels sprouts. The scientific name for skunk cabbage ends with the word foetid. Fetid. Like rotten.

That’s what brussels sprouts smell like when they are cooked: Fetid and rotten.

It is a waste of perfectly good bacon or cheese to introduce them to a dish of brussels sprouts. To me, you should follow the advice for cooking carp if you are considering serving brussels sprouts. That’s the one where you nail the carp to a board, cook it over a fire, throw the carp away, and eat the board. I am sure an aluminum pan would go down more easily than the brussels sprouts that were cooked in it.

If you invite me to your house and are serving brussels sprouts, please don’t mistake my revulsion for ingratitude. Just hand me a hacksaw and the pan. I’ll eat on the porch, thank you.

For discussion: What about you – do you love or hate brussels sprouts?

Maybe you have some thoughts about food as well. Let me invite you to share them during the 15th annual Spirit and Place Civic Festival this year. The theme is Food for Thought and will run from November 5 through 15. I am David Wantz and I am a member of the S&P board. I hope you will join us.


2 thoughts on “Brussels Sprouts

  1. David, you kill it, you eat it. I like to cut them in half and brown the flat part in bacon grease then add chicken stock and let it reduce until they’re glazed. However, they definitely taste like brussels sprouts, really really good ones, so I am not suggesting you do the same.

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