Friday, October 22, 2010

Stem Sells

The supermarket's now selling brussel sprouts still-on-the-stem. It's a pretty clever marketing tactic - makes people think they're fresh off the farm.* 

You know how they've started selling tomatoes on the truss? It used to be a standard breeding trait to make sure the tomatoes came off the truss cleanly (stems can pierce stacked tomatoes). And now some varieties are bred to keep them on...

*Plus it's fun, which I won't argue with!


  1. One reason for selling tomatoes on the truss is that a lot of the tomatoey smell is in the stems and leaves, which fools people into thinking that the tomatoes will be flavourful too.

  2. I see these at Trader Joes. So cute, but I've never liked them so I haven't even tried cooking them for me and my 7 year old.

    Jeremy, I'd never realized that, but it makes sense.

  3. I've given brussel sprouts a second chance since hearing that they can be really good if fresh and cooked right. They were without a doubt my most hated food when I was a kid (I remember covering them in bbq sauce to try to overwhelm the taste). I don't know if the available ones were bad quality back then or it was just a matter of my taste buds thinning out.

  4. I love brussel sprouts now, though not so much as as a kid. I'm actually growing some in my back yard now.

    Best way to eat them: cut in half (or fourths if really big). Cook them up in a pan with some oil and bacon pieces until the sprouts get browned. Serve with a tarragon cream sauce.

  5. Selling brussels on the stem has been popular here in the UK for a few years now. It hugely reduces the labour costs of harvesting, but relies on F1 varieties bred for simultaneous maturity. Open pollenated types have sprouts that mature progressively from the bottom to the top of the stem, so are far better for home-growing.



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