What Do Brussels Sprouts Taste Like? Should You Bake Or Boil Them?

Nidhi Sahai
Feb 29, 2024 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
Brussels sprouts are called crunchy sprouts
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

Brussels sprouts belong to the family of cabbage, Brassica also known as Cruciferous.

These vegetables are said to have been coined in Rome. Furthermore, they are packed with fiber, vitamins, and amino acids and as the name suggests are first cultivated in Brussels, Belgium in the 13th century hence the name Brussels Sprouts.

They have a flavor that is similar to green cabbage and broccoli, however, it is quite strong or harsh. Brussels sprouts are the same species as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and cabbage, but when cooked properly, they have a pleasant nutty flavor that complements many other dishes such as parmesan cheese, chestnuts, bacon, and so on. Brussels sprouts taste bitter if we compare them with cabbage. Brussels sprouts taste like bitter flavor cabbage and if we add salt and pepper to the sprouts, Brussels sprouts' taste changes a lot and over the years humans have adapted themselves to these cruciferous vegetables. Olive oil is more suitable to cook brussels sprouts, albeit sprouts are a little more bitter. Brussels sprouts taste sweet, nutty and give a smoky flavor when cooked properly in olive oil or butter, Brussels sprouts have a sweet, nutty, smoky flavor taste that's hard to resist. When we eat Brussels sprouts or some other cruciferous vegetables in large amounts, it can protect us against many types of cancer such as kidney, bladder, lungs, stomach, breast, and prostate. Brussels sprouts are called crunchy sprouts and can also help you with some health-related problems such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many more because it has useful vitamin like vitamin C. When cooked properly in steam, Brussels sprout taste sweeter. Brussels sprout also produces a variety of gases like methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen because the brussels sprout contains cellulose in high amounts and it becomes difficult for normal humans to digest hence farting is common when we eat these veggies.

Brussels is fibrous and dense like we find in other cabbages. Brussels sprouts can be boiled in salty water. You can overcome the bitter taste by cooking them in salty water for about six minutes until it becomes tender or by roasting at a high temperature of over 400 ℉ (204.44 ℃) for 20 minutes, but don't overcook because it is bad for health and can decrease vitamin C content. Brussels sprouts have a bitter flavor if we do both, bake and boil them provided we should eliminate the outer leaves to get the flavor. Brussels sprouts can be boiled, steamed, roasted, grilled, braised, and sautéed. Brussels sprouts taste good with onions, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, brown butter, bacon, salty meats.

You can also read what do parsnips taste like and what do chestnuts taste like.

Do Cabbage And Brussels Sprouts Taste The Same?

This cruciferous vegetables Brussels sprouts are the same species as cauliflower, broccoli kale, cabbage, and kohlrabi despite their differences, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are fairly similar in taste, although sprouts are a little more bitter.

People often use them as substitutes for each other but that depends on your taste of bitterness. Prepare brussels sprouts in olive oil. Slice Brussels sprouts from the hardened stem at the bottom and remove tough leaves and outer leaves. Take a sprout then slice the sprouts in half and toss using pepper, olive oil, and salt in cooking to decrease the bitter flavor. Roast the sprouts in a 400 ℉ (204.44 ℃) oven for about 15-20 minutes or until brown. Brussels sprouts have a different texture from cabbage but sprouts are a little more bitter. Rawness aside, we can often substitute one for the other, depending on how bitter a person likes the vegetables while cooking. The method to cook brussels sprout and cabbage are the same but the taste is different. Brussels and cabbage, when raw made in oil preferably olive oil tastes somewhat similar, while brussels sprout is more bitter to eat. Try to eat Brussels with broccoli made in a pan with salt and pepper, the bitter flavor will become tasty with parmesan cheese, meatballs, bacon, and use some vegetables and meat to make this veggie healthy with fiber. The Brussels sprouts taste and cabbage taste are somewhat similar while cooking a meal for a family, with parmesan cheese and meatballs it looks tasty when on the dinner table.

What do Brussels sprouts taste like if cooked well?

Brussels sprout recipes and their cooking method are very easy. It tastes like a sweet, smoky flavor that is nutty while cooking in olive oil and that's hard to resist. As for the texture, Brussels sprouts have a nice crunchy exterior and a tender interior, if we exclude the outer leaves of the veggie and cook well in oil with broccoli, the raw Brussels sprout will taste even better. Brussels sprouts come in the season of Oct-Nov and have tasty recipes and an easy method to cook.

The sharp and slightly bitter taste comes from glucosinolates, which when they are in the metabolic stage gives the sharp and bitter taste of this green vegetable food. There are hundreds of recipes to make Brussels sprouts in the season for dinner as they have vitamin C, minerals, vitamin B in plenty, and whether it is boiled or roast, it is good for health. This brassica family brussels sprout can be made with other veggies also but make sure not to overcook otherwise it is not edible. Steam cooking or roast cooking methods both go well with brussels sprouts and the taste is sweeter with smoky flavor if steamed well. Make sure your brussels sprout are not overcooked as it is not good for your health. One should also make sure that Brussels sprouts are fresh for eating and are crisp after the meal is cooked.

Why are Brussels sprouts bitter?

Brussels sprouts, scientifically known as Brassica oleracea, have a high concentration of chemicals known as glucosinolates, which, when digested in the body, give them their distinctive harsh or bitter flavor. Brussels sprouts for many years were scorned for their bitterness or a very strong bitter taste as Bontadelli says it used to be. It is bitter because of glucosinolates.

Indeed the bitter flavor of Brussels sprouts, which you have noticed, is because of Glucosalinates, which are also known as the R-group, and can get exchanged with other groups as well. Glucosalinates have very similar structures. Sinigrin was one of the Glucosalinates that was found in the Brussels sprouts. It is sinigrin only that has a major contribution to the bitterness these sprouts have. There are other factors as well. We can even make brussels sprouts in the oven for food recipe of, which is available on the net. Make sure the texture of the brussels sprouts is greenish-brown add some garlic and it makes out to be a very delicious dish for the family on the dinner table.

Brussels sprouts are fresh for eating

What do baby Brussels sprouts taste like?

Brussels sprouts and cabbage have a lot of resemblances but they are not the same.

People actually consider these baby sprouts for mini versions of cabbages but, to burst this bubble, they are not the same. They both belong to the same family Brassica or we can also call it the cruciferous family. When eating baby Brussels sprouts, we eat the bud which we get from a thick and long fibrous stalk. You can eat them after baking. They will taste very amazing, just like sweet, crispy but still delicious. You often have encountered these soggy greens, but you can always look for an alternative and better way to make them which is by roasting them on a pan and enjoy later!

Why do Brussels sprouts taste better now?

Brussels sprouts began to change their taste in the Netherlands where it all started in the '90s. The scientific name of Brussels sprouts is Brassica oleracea. A Dutch scientist named Hans van Doorn who worked in Novartis seed and chemical division started to take interest in what makes Brussels sprouts bitter and what are the chemical compounds that made Brassica oleracea bitter.

Some other companies also started to invent the oldest written history of butter sprouts and one of them was Bejo Zaden. Many old varieties are present. What scientists did was performed cross-pollination between the old and new varieties to get the best traits in Brassica oleracea. So you are not imagining that Brussels sprouts are tasting quite different, it’s because scientists have made them better by working on them. Scientists are also of the opinion that the bitterness was somewhat able to defend the plant from insects.

How do you get the bitterness out of Brussels sprouts?

We know how much people like Brussels sprouts, but sometimes their bitter taste is not so likable. You can remove or decrease the bitterness of these sprouts in a very simple way. These raw vegetables, if made with salt, pepper, and roasted, will taste and smell amazing.

Just cut these tiny sprouts into half and then boil them for few minutes. After that leave them to cool down. Now you can saute them with brown sugar according to your taste of sweetness. After that use the olive oil so that you can avoid stickiness to the pan and cook till they get slightly tender. Check the tenderness with a fork, knife, or stick. When you see that the sugar has caramelized, then remove the sprouts from the heat. To add even more texture, you can roast them in the oven, but before that, preheat the oven to 400 ℉ (204.44 ℃). Roast them till brown.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what do Brussels sprouts taste like, then why not take a look at what do persimmons taste like or what do scallops taste like?

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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Nidhi Sahai picture

Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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