Brussels Sprouts Stalk
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There is little difference between a Brussels sprouts stalk and loose Brussels sprouts. The Brussels sprouts stalk is edible, but requires longer cooking to generate favorable flavor and texture. The stalk provides a source of post-harvest nutrients for the sprouts, allowing the Brussels sprouts to retain their livelihood and moisture longer. The sprouts appearance and flavor, however remain the same. The sprouts are compact rounded leaves tightly bound into individual spherical-shaped heads ranging in diameter of one to two inches when mature. Their leaves range from sea green to fern green, some varieties featuring blushed violet red tips. They offer the flavors of the lean grass and raw nuts along with cruciferous bittersweetness. Younger Brussels sprouts carry a sweeter more palatable flavor.
Brussels sprouts on the stalk are available during the spring, fall and winter months.
Brussels sprouts, botanical name Brassica oleracea, belong to the Brassicaceae family. They are the axillary buds of the plant which grow progressively from an upward sprouting stem. The Brassicaceae is an economically important food plant family known as the mustard plants, crucifers and cabbages. Modern cultivars of Brussels sprouts have been developed to remove the bitterness that they have been historically associated with. Five common types of Brussels sprouts include Rampart, Content, Oliver, Rowena and Valiant. Each variety has its own seasonal preference during the fall and winter to appear. The average consumer, however, wouldn't know the difference among any of these varieties in taste or appearance.
Brussels sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked. When prepared raw they are best shaved thin and served as an accompaniment to a salad or first course. The best methods for cooking Baby Brussels sprouts are braising, baking, grilling or pan-roasting. Brussels sprouts take on the accompanying flavors which gives them more depth and appeal while also bringing sweetness to the Brussels sprouts. Favorable companions include apples, almonds, butter, cream, bacon, cheeses such as pecorino, taleggio and alpine varieties, garlic, mustard, mushrooms, olive oil, pistachios, pears, pancetta, pepper, pine nuts, thyme, rosemary and light bodied vinegars.
Brussels sprouts are thought to be native to Belgium, specifically a region near its capital, Brussels, after which they are named. They remained a local crop in this area until their use spread across Europe during World War I. Brussels sprouts are now cultivated throughout Europe and have been naturalized in the United States. They are a cold hardy food plant that thrive in winter months in temperate climates with adequate to supple supplies of rainfall and irrigation. Brussels sprouts stalks are harvested at the plants base just above the soil and sold not only for their culinary qualities but also for their ornamental appeal.
Recipes that include Brussels Sprouts Stalk. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Kirbie's Cravings||Roasted Spicy Garlic Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk|
|We are not Martha||Beer Batter Fried Brussels Sprouts|
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