Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month is a Belgian tradition that is observed every year in April. Named after Brussels in Belgium, where they were first cultivated, Brussels sprouts have become a pretty popular vegetable and an excellent source of nutrients. Yet while the Brussels sprouts may be very popular, they aren’t exactly easy to grow. Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month provides the perfect opportunity for vegan lovers to explore the lovely recipes that have been created by professional gardeners and chefs over the years. If you’ve ever wanted to go on a vegan diet for a full month, then you’ll need the recipes on display during this Belgian food holiday.
History of Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month
Although native to the Mediterranean region along with other cabbage species, Brussels sprouts initially appeared in northern Europe during the 5th century, subsequently being farmed in the 13th century near Brussels, Belgium, from where they got their name. During the 16th century, they were popular in southern Netherlands, and their appeal soon expanded to the cooler portions of northern Europe.
Brussels sprouts belong to the same genus as broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, and kohlrabi, and are classified as a cultivar group. Purple cabbage hybrids are crossbred with normal green cabbage. A Dutch botanist developed Brussels sprouts in the 1940s, resulting in a variant with some of the purple colors of red cabbage and a higher taste. Hans van Doorn, a Dutch scientist, discovered the compounds that make Brussels sprouts sour in the 1990s. This enabled Dutch seed firms to cross-breed historical low-bitterness types with modern high-yield varieties, resulting in a considerable increase in the vegetable’s popularity over time.
The first Brussels sprouts in the U.S. were brought to Louisiana by French settlers in the 18th century. The Central Coast of California had its first plantings in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the 1940s that considerable production began there. California’s coastal regions are currently home to thousands of acres worth of crops. Brussels sprouts are a common vegetable in grocery stores, but they aren’t as common in home gardens. This is probably because they aren’t the easiest vegetables to grow. As a cool-season crop, they do best when cultivated in the fall or early winter, and require an 80–100-day growing season.
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month timeline
Farmers in northern Europe discover the Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts are cultivated and grown in large quantities.
Brussels sprouts start being exported to other parts of Europe.
Different versions of Brussels sprouts are cultivated commercially in the U.S.
Scientists begin to cross-breed the Brussels sprouts to produce sweeter versions.
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month FAQs
Why are Brussels sprouts called that?
In the 1800s, the French came up with the name.
Do Brussels sprouts make you fart?
Gas can be caused by cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts. If you do get gas, then flatulence will occur.
Are Brussel sprouts just baby cabbages?
Brussels sprouts look like baby cabbages because they come from the same family. We eat the head of a cabbage, which grows out of the ground. On the other hand, Brussels sprouts are buds that grow along a thick, fibrous stalk.
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month Activities
Prepare a Brussels Sprouts dinner
Cook a big cabbage or Brussels sprouts dish for dinner and enjoy leftovers the next day. You can also invite friends over to enjoy.
Make some salad
Make a big salad with shredded cabbage and Brussels sprouts for lunch. It can be eaten on its own or enjoyed with fish, fruits, or cheese.
Whip up a bowl for dinner
Enjoy a bowl of warm, sauteed cabbage or Brussels sprouts as a side dish with dinner. Enjoy the dish with your favorite toppings for dinner or just eat a bowlful as a midnight snack.
5 Amazing Facts About Belgium
Europe’s first skyscraper is there
The building, which is now called Boerentoren or KBC Tower, was the tallest on the continent until 1940.
The country’s divorce rate is high
Only Latvia and Lithuania have a higher divorce rate than Belgium, which is around 70%.
You’ll find the world’s longest tram line
The Kusttram goes all the way along the 42 miles of Belgian coast between the French and Dutch borders, making some 68 stops and running every 10 minutes during summer peak hours.
Largest population in Europe with cable
About 97% of homes in Belgium have cable T.V.
It holds the world record for castles
Belgium has more castles than any other country in the world per kilometer.
Why We Love Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month
Its the perfect vegan diet
It's a great way to get your greens in. Both Brussels sprouts and cabbages are packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
It’s a solid member of the cabbage family
Brussels sprouts and cabbage can be cooked in a variety of ways. These makes them very versatile ingredients to keep in your pantry.
It’s an affordable vegetable option
They are affordable! Cabbage is a budget-friendly vegetable, and Brussels sprouts are becoming more affordable as well.
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month dates