They're round, green and can divide opinion over the dinner table - yes, we're talking Brussels sprouts!
At Asda we grow over 17 varieties, which enables us and the customer to get the best quality sprouts
The little mouthfuls of goodness are the quintessential Christmas Day veg. They are thought to have been cultivated in Belgium in the 16th century, hence the name, and for years - whether you like it or not - us Brits have been serving mountains of them alongside our roast spuds, perfect parsnips and Christmas Day turkey.
What is it that makes these Christmas Day staples so marvellous?
According to Andy Wareham, Asda’s chief sprout taster who will test more than 2,200 before the big day, the perfect sprout is 3.2cm, 17.2grams, has 12 leaf layers and is a mid-hue colour.
He said, “At Asda we grow over 17 varieties, which enables us and the customer to get the best quality sprouts.
“We work hard to make sure they are measuring up to the right size, weight, look and taste so there is consistent quality.
“We also take a ‘one tasty mouthful’ testing approach with our sprouts to ensure they are the right size for our customers to eat easily.
“As we all have different taste buds, sprouts may taste sweet and nutty to some, and slightly bitter to others.
“So when we taste test them, we make sure everyone’s opinion is taken on board, both from our team and customer reviews, to ensure we’re delivering sprouts that suit everyone’s taste buds this Christmas.”
how is best to cook them?
Typically, sprouts have been cooked by placing two crosses in the bottom and then boiling them. However, Acting Food Director at Good Housekeeping, Lucy Jessop says, 'there's no need to waste time cutting a cross in the bottom of your sprouts, it has no benefit and can even make them soggy; best to cook in boiling water for no more than 5 mins for perfectly tender Brussels.'
This year you could try stir-frying them with streaky bacon and shallots to keep them fresh and crunchy, you could add some pancetta and chestnuts for a real nutty taste or you could try chargrilling them with scallops and a cranberry port dressing.