Monday, January 9, 2012

Maybe There's a Reason You Don't Like Brussels Sprouts

Ask me if I like Brussels sprouts and I'm likely to turn up my nose. But I really don't have a good reason to do that, because to be honest, I've never tasted them. But now I want to.

I grew Brussels sprouts in 2008, but I never ate them.
It wasn't because of the aphids either.
Annie White, Editor-at-Large of Inside Grower, brought an interesting little tidbit of information to my attention in her latest newsletter. It seems that there is a genetic predisposition for liking Brussels sprouts or disliking them. About half the population has a gene type that causes the vegetable to taste bitter to them. The other half has a mutation of the gene that allows them to eat Brussels sprouts without tasting the bitterness.

Brussels sprouts contain PTC - Phenylthiocarbamide - and people who can't taste it are more likely to enjoy eating them. This discovery was made by the Eden Project in Cornwall, Great Britain.

I grew Brussels sprouts once, four years ago, but I never ate them. Now that there's this genetic link to liking these or not, I want to grow them again and this time, I'll eat them. I'll eat them at least once, just to find out if I'm a "taster" or not. Then I'll make my husband eat them to see if he likes them. And then - you know what's coming, don't you? - I'll make our girls eat them to see whose genes they inherited.

Yeah, it will be a downright scientific experiment.


Kate said...

I like Brussels Sprouts so I guess I fall on the side of those that can't taste the bitterness. And I do think an experiment is in order!

SolakNC said...

I just started some seed indoors today for the very first time for planting out in late February. I've never grown or eaten them before, but since I had some seed, naturally, I HAVE to grow them, right?

Liza and John's Garden said...

Liza and I both Love Brussels Sprouts. Have them all the time. Very good for you and we like the taste.

Have a great day,

Lea's Menagerie said...

Thanks for giving me a great big chuckle today!
I like Brussel Sprouts.
Cook gently. Don't cook until mushy-yucky!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are so funny Kylee. If you like cabbage I think you will like brussel sprouts. They taste like cabbage to me.

Alison said...

I want to know if you're going to make your mom eat them! LOL

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Like what Lea said, don't over cook them. We just had some fresh them fresh. Parboiled then finished in the skillet with the bacon drippings and tossed with bacon and onions. yummmmm
We also love them oven roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper. I used to gag them down as a kid. try them!!

Rose said...

This is interesting, Kylee. Both my husband and I happen to like Brussels sprouts and so does my youngest daughter, but my three older children can't stand them. I wonder whose genes they inherited??

Do try Brussels sprouts again, Kylee. I've found our taste buds change as we get older; I know I like foods I never cared for when I was younger...except liver--I'll never be able to eat that!

Lona said...

LOL! Well I guess I am on the side of those who do not like them. My kids think I am strange anyway because I do not like spices or certain flavorings. LOL!

Gardening Under The Influence said...

Love them marinated in a vinaigrette.

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting to me. My parents love brussel sprouts and served them to me when I was a kid. I could not stand their bitterness, which was so strong that I would gag. So I learned to cut them in quarters and swallow the quarters whole so I didn't have to taste them. Mom never understood why I detested them so and always said how good they were and that they didn't taste bitter at all!! I can't wait to email her this little tidbit of info. Thanks for sharing!

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