Love them or loathe them, Christmas dinner wouldn't be the same without Brussels sprouts. Here Tim Carr, Technical Manager at Asda sprout growers Lincolnshire Field Products, explains why sprouts are becoming more popular.
Lots of people love to hate sprouts, but as flavour profiles become sweeter and not as bitter as in years gone by they're becoming more and more popular.
I think it’s fair to say that people who may have been put off sprouts in the past and those who haven’t tried them will be pleasantly surprised at the taste if they try them again this Christmas.
As growers we’re always striving to find the tastiest of the varieties available for Asda customers. It's a very long and complex process and different growers in different areas of the UK know what grows best on their soil type, so what may work for us in Lincolnshire may not work up in Scotland and vice versa.
We’re able to take advantage of the land quality in this area, which is predominantly Grade One silt. LFP farm an area surrounding Spalding as far as Boston to the North, Wisbech and Market Deeping to the South and The Wash in the East.
LFP have been farming since 1929 and we’ve been supplying Asda with sprouts and other produce since 1992. During Christmas week we harvest as many each day as we usually harvest over a full week so that is 100-120 tonnes per day rather than 120 tonnes per week.
We harvest, grade and pack within a 24-hour period so we can get the sprouts to Asda stores in optimum condition.
Personally I am partial to sprouts and like them gently boiled or roasted – so not too soft – with a nice roast dinner. Delicious!
Over in the USA sprouts are being seen as the new “superfood” similar in popularity to kale. So who knows, more people may be eating sprouts throughout the year next year rather than saving them just for Christmas!
Recipes: Our Good Living website has loads of great Christmas recipe ideas, including lots of delicious dishes made with sprouts. Take a look here.