By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Food Minister Trevor Sargent promotes seasonal eating while inspecting the Brussel Sprout crop for Christmas

Every food has its season and the height of the Brussels sprout season is well underway. Local fresh food eaten in season not only tastes better but is better for the health of the consumer and producer alike.

Sprouts in season are rich in calcium, vitamin C and protein as long as they are not overcooked. Speaking from personal experience, Minister Sargent said, "The best way I find to cook Brussels sprouts is to first prepare them in the usual way. Place them in a large saucepan, in a single layer if possible and pour in a little boiling water, barely enough to cover the stalks. Sprinkle some salt over them, add a knob of butter or margarine. Cover the pan and boil them briskly until the water is absorbed. Keep an eye to avoid them burning at the last stage. Delicious locally grown seasonal food".

However, the origin of the Brussels sprout is far more recent than the first Christmas. Although the cabbage was brought to northern Europe by the Romans early in the first century A.D., the Brussels sprout was only bred as a cultivar of the cabbage family in Belgium around 1750.

In the meantime the Brussels sprout has become as synonymous with Christmas as the turkey and the Christmas tree. This is why Irish farmers who grow Brussels sprouts work so hard at this time of year, working right around the clock, 24/7, indeed 24/14 in the fortnight before Christmas to ensure the Irish product is as fresh and as tasty as possible. About 600 acres of Brussels sprouts are grown in the Republic of Ireland to give everyone in Ireland the choice to eat Irish Brussels sprouts in season while wishing each other "Seasons Greetings" said Minister Sargent.

4 December, 2007

Date Released: 04 December 2007