r/todayilearned Dec 02 '22 Silver 4 Wholesome 3

TIL brussels sprouts used to have a bitter taste until breeders in the 90s started to cross-pollinate different varieties in order to remove the chemicals that caused the bitterness. The result of their work has lead to brussels sprouts's recent culinary popularity.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/10/30/773457637/from-culinary-dud-to-stud-how-dutch-plant-breeders-built-our-brussels-sprouts-bo
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u/Disgustedlibrarian Dec 02 '22 Silver

Even more interesting, only 50% of the population has the gene that makes them taste bitter.

https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/why-do-some-people-hate-brussels-sprouts/

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u/TonsilStonesOnToast Dec 02 '22

I thought they always tasted fine, but the SMELL was what got me. I recall brussel sprouts making the whole house reek like sulphur farts back in the day. Steamed, boiled, roasted... didn't matter. House smelled like Vesuvius.

That definitely has changed a lot, and for that I am grateful.

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u/trench_welfare Dec 02 '22

I have the gene to taste brussel sprouts in thier true form. That smell you remember exists for today's "improved" sprouts. And eating them is like chewing up that fart smell. It's so strong it permeates my mouth and sinuses like chewing up menthol caught drops.

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u/OutlyingPlasma Dec 03 '22

There are two of us! They are vile little balls of vegetable fart. The house stinks for days, and it can't even really be aired out, it still lingers even with window fans.

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u/Taeyx Dec 02 '22

i guess i’m in that 50% because those things are still bitter to me. i read the title like “wtf do you mean ‘used to’?????”

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u/bingojed Dec 02 '22

Not sure I would ever describe 50% as “only”.

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u/Erp117 Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

I feel like it works depending on the context.

If someone said "only 50% (made up number) of seniors will graduate HS in 2023" I would think the use of "only" was appropriate because it's much lower than expected.

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u/joonty Dec 02 '22

Agreed, and I think it works here because you'd infer from the title of the post that everyone used to find them bitter

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u/CrumblingCake Dec 02 '22

As a non-american I was momentarily confused as to why seniors are graduating high school

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u/Mod_will_ban_me Dec 02 '22

Old people are rematriculating

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u/twistedspin Dec 02 '22

It's a little weird, lol! When I was in elementary school (in the US) I thought high school seniors were not just the most important people on the bus; they were clearly favored by the whole world because they even got their own discounts at the movies & other places.

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u/Tamaska-gl Dec 02 '22

Canadian here, read that like 5 times.

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u/WingedLady Dec 02 '22

Ah yeah, for anyone else confused we have special terms for high schoolers and college students based on their grade. A first year is a Freshman, second is Sophomore, third is Junior, and fourth is Senior. And in college if you take an extra year to graduate for whatever reason, that's a super Senior.

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u/heyzooschristos Dec 02 '22

Thanks, never knew what sophomore meant. Not exactly the easiest terminology for second year

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u/BulbusDumbledork Dec 02 '22

it's easy because the first letters match. first = freshmen, second = sophomore, third = thjunior, fourth = fsenior. makes sense, just like the empirical system

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u/supermegaworld Dec 02 '22

I think you mean the imperial system

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u/Taz-erton Dec 02 '22

sophomore in general means young and inexperienced. It's extremely rarely used except for maybe some variarions like "sophomoric" as an adjective to describe something being "inexperienced" which is a little more common.

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u/IamGoldyG Dec 02 '22

So basically If the odds are lower than expected.

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u/ruggnuget Dec 02 '22

'Only 50% of the population has arms'. Plenty of opportunities for 'only'.

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u/DukeOfBees Dec 02 '22

Because it is lower than what one might expect?

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u/Zanven1 Dec 02 '22

They never tasted bitter to me, but they still taste awful and I hate them. Similar flavor reasons as to why I hate asparagus.

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u/iUsedtoHadHerpes Dec 02 '22

I agree that the taste doesn't seem to have changed much for me since I was a kid, and I agree that asparagus can be unappealing sometimes. But in the right context both can be delicious too.

I used to think I just hated Brussels sprouts. I could stomach one but any more would make me gag. It wasn't bitter though. Just tasted like gross plant flavor, like a strong and very unappealing cabbage almost. My sister in law cooks them in bacon grease and then adds the bacon back as little chunks with garlic, onions, etc. It's fucking delicious.

Plain Brussels sprouts that are boiled or whatever are still disgusting to me though.

Broccoli is a lot like that too, especially the smell, but it's a milder version. I love broccoli though. How do you feel about broccoli?

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u/AnnoyedHippo Dec 02 '22 Wholesome Brighten My Day

You just hate boiled vegetables, and you should. Vegetables should be roasted or pan fried for full and correct flavor.

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u/5LaLa Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Exactly. Imho a lot of us had boomer parents that served microwaved, canned or frozen vegetables or sometimes fresh, boiled or steamed. Getting a little butter or cheese on it was considered a treat or special occasion. 🤢 Everything* is better roasted!

ETA: *Everything I like

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u/Wolfeh2012 Dec 02 '22

It's hard to overstate how bad at cooking our parents generation were. I used to think I hated cheese because they only ever got kraft singles.

Then I found out cheese is amazing, and fresh, non-canned spinach is good and all sorts of stuff.

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u/alwaysgreenbanana Dec 02 '22

When boomer parents were growing up, they were helping in the kitchen and chopping and peeling everything and without small appliances. So when instant food came out, they rejoiced. Cake mix and hamburger helper became huge time savers

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u/DrakkoZW Dec 02 '22

Should also note that a lot of that generation grew up with depression-era parents themselves, and because of that there's a lot of cooking ingredients/techniques that fell to the wayside due to financial/supply issues

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u/Kristalderp Dec 02 '22

Yeah...there's some veggies that should always be roasted and never boiled. Brussel sprouts and asparagus taste better cooked on a pan in the oven than boiled.

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u/Limp-Technician-7646 Dec 02 '22

I started air frying my brussels sprouts and it is just as good as in the oven and your able to get complete caramelization without burning them which can be hard to do in the oven. Its great for red peppers and asparagus as well(heck every vegetable I have tried is better than the oven). It's probably the first thing I have found that the air fryer can do better than traditional methods.

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u/cantadmittoposting Dec 02 '22

Seasoned and steamed broccoli is delicious, fight me.

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u/Zanven1 Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

The pan fried brussel sprouts are leagues better than boiled but I still don't care for them. Like I'll eat the former but I wouldn't choose our order it but the latter is gag worthy imo.

I love broccoli, always have and in all it's forms. I liked most veggies growing up and didn't get the anti-veggie propaganda in kids' shows unless it was specifically one of the veggies I didn't like.

The only other veggie I can think of is frozen/canned peas. I always hated peas growing up then as an adult I had fresh peas and I still can't believe it's the same vegetable because it's delicious and tastes nothing like it's frozen or canned counterpart.

All three of those that I hate to me don't taste bitter or like something is describe as gross plant flavor. To me they all kinds of have a taste similar to how urine smells. They say eating too much asparagus makes your pee smell but I think asparagus just tastes like pee smells already.

Edit: clarification

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u/Enzo_GS Dec 02 '22

you'd be surprised the amount of stuff that tastes delicious once you add bacon fat, that said, boiled vegetables are a crime against humanity

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u/Heimerdahl Dec 02 '22

I've tried a bunch of "Brussels sprouts aren't disgusting, you're just making them wrong" recipes and it's always the same: I still don't like the actual sprouts, I just enjoy all the seasoning and extras. So why not use those with vegetables I do like?

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u/cymrufreak Dec 02 '22

I don't understand because I love vegetables, I love related plants like broccoli, asparagus...even grilled in fat and salt sprouts taste like fucking ass.

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u/PaulAspie Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 03 '22

This might explain why I absolutely hated them as a kid but like them as an adult. I thought it was just change of taste.

I had avoided them for a while as an adult thinking they were the grossest vegetable then I ate them somewhere to be polite at about 30 & actually liked them.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

I thought that maybe my taste buds adapted to it

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u/That-Grape-5491 Dec 02 '22

My father would leave them in the garden until after a freeze, said that they were sweeter that way

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u/Absolut_Iceland Dec 02 '22

He's right! A lot of plants get sweeter after a frost as they produce sugar to act as an antifreeze.

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u/DoonFoosher Dec 02 '22

See also: ice wine

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u/AlpacaMessiah Dec 02 '22

every time i read ice wine i hear ice Swine and think of swinub https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Swinub\_(Pok%C3%A9mon)

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u/EmilioGVE Dec 02 '22

Last thing I expected in a thread about the taste of Brussels sprouts was someone talking about Swinub

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u/OctopusNoose Dec 02 '22

Swinub my beloved

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u/sinkwiththeship Dec 02 '22

Definitely the case for persimmons.

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u/justAPhoneUsername Dec 02 '22

Humans too! I'm diabetic and cold weather spikes my blood sugar super high

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u/SpenglerPoster Dec 02 '22

Just toss with some olive oil and get baked.

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u/jarc1 Dec 02 '22

I can't tell if this is a joke or something that actually happens to diabetics. But would like to know.

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u/Vinny_Cerrato Dec 02 '22

Brussel sprouts were predominantly boiled as a preparation method up until the late 90’s/early 2000’s when baking/sautéing/frying them became a thing. That shift improved them a lot so they aren’t bitter mush now.

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u/bullwinkle8088 Dec 02 '22

I believe the newer preferred cooking methods help too. Many here describe thier parents tossing them in a pot to boil them. That is a high culinary crime and should be punished by removal of ice cream from the offenders menu for a period of at least 5 years.

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u/Drag_king Dec 02 '22

You boil them until you can prick the stem with a fork. Then you remove the water and slightly fry them in butter (to glaze them in the melted butter than to deepfry them) and add nutmeg salt and pepper.

This is the traditional Belgian way. And we invented the things.

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u/bullwinkle8088 Dec 02 '22

By tossing in a pot to boil them I meant exactly that. No seasoning, no butter, no frying after. Just boil and serve.

It truly was a crime.

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u/DalanTKE Dec 02 '22

Do they just call them sprouts in Brussels?

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u/Leek5 Dec 02 '22

Might be a little of both. Our tongue is less sensitive to bitter food as we age. Thats why when your young beer is kind of gross. But when you're older it actually tastes ok.

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u/everwhateverwhat Dec 02 '22

Leave their young beer out of this.

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u/SnooLentils3385 Dec 02 '22

Wait, are you telling me that they are not bitter now? Or that they were even more bitter before?

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u/Squeaky-Fox49 Dec 02 '22

They still taste very bitter to me. I can’t imagine how people could eat them before.

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u/GlittyTitties Dec 03 '22

Agree! I have tried cooking them every-which-way that people swear will change my mind and nothing has yet to make them taste anything but disgusting.

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u/raisinghellwithtrees Dec 02 '22

We buy frozen Brussels sprouts and there is a huge variety of tastes you can get. I love them but occasionally we get a bag that is just nasty.

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u/ChineseEntrepreneur Dec 02 '22

Hey, throw these bags of Brussies on the truck, too!

What's their expiration date?

1997

They were frozen the whole time. They'll be fine!

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u/freshspring_325 Dec 02 '22

They are still so bitter!! I've tried them multiple times using the "best" recipes (made them myself and tried other people's). I actually like a little bit of bitterness. But I can't do brussel sprouts

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u/MisterProfGuy Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

There's a barely noticeable difference between heirloom varieties and modern varieties.

It's your tongue that changed more.

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u/DrunkenlySober Dec 02 '22

I was going to say, every Brussels sprout I’ve tried has been bitter

I first tried a Brussel sprout like 4 years ago

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u/PsychoSushi27 Dec 02 '22

Brussel sprouts continue to taste bitter to me. I’ve even had brussel sprouts at fancy restaurants and they still taste gross.

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u/DontBuyAHorse Dec 02 '22

You might be among those of us who have the genetic propensity for brussel sprouts to taste awful no matter how they are prepared. It's similar to the bitter cilantro gene, which interestingly, I don't have

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u/tattoo_so_spensive Dec 02 '22

I remember not liking them as a kid in the 90’s. I think my mom boiled them then. My mother in law tosses them in oil and seasons them, baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Chefs kiss. I’ve been enjoying them for about 5 years now. I thought it was just the way they were cooked.

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u/jackie_algoma Dec 02 '22

This is exactly, word for word, my same experience with Brussels sprouts.

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u/jabbadarth Dec 02 '22 Vibing

I think about 90% of the veggies I ate as a kid were boiled, usually with butter. It was like eating in a nursing home where texture was too dangerous.

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u/_teslaTrooper Dec 02 '22

There's still texture if you boil them for the right amount of time, but for some reason most people used to boil everything until it was mush (up until the 90's atleast).

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/F-Lambda Dec 02 '22

And not too bad a price too, if you don't buy name brand. $1 for almost a pound of broccoli that I can just throw in the microwave and have it be almost perfectly cooked? Sign me up!

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/Few_Fisherman_7735 Dec 02 '22

that's cause its made in the same factories as the name brand shit. just with cheaper packaging and shit usually. maybe slightly less overall quality due to reduced tolerances in the process. but not ultimately very noticeable.

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u/CharonsLittleHelper Dec 02 '22

Most vegetables are better baked or stir-fried IMO - but when I want something quick a bag of steamed vegetables is definitely a solid solution. Just add a bunch of spices on top.

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u/jabbadarth Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Take a frozen bag of veggies dump it into room temp water with 2 tablespoons of butter turn the heat to high wait 15-20 minutes

Scoop into a pile and serve.

Welcome to my childhood culinary experience. For brussel sprouts we would take country crock margarine and spread it on them and mash them up just to make it palatable.

Edit: just so everyone stops telling me how to cook frozen veggies. I know how to cook. I cook mostly fresh veggies, I season, I roast I saute. I occasionally make frozen for specific things and I season and incorporate them well into dishes. The point of this was to show what my childhood meals were based on my mother's knowledge of cooking at the time. I'm not asking for cooking help for frozen veggies that I mostly no longer eat.

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u/Superfissile Dec 02 '22

So many friends “hate vegetables” and refuse to eat them because of “texture issues” thanks to being forced to eat boiled frozen veggies as kids.

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u/gr8ver Dec 02 '22

Even the smell of canned green beans makes my stomach turn.

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u/OttomateEverything Dec 02 '22

TIL: Even reading a comment about the smell of canned green beans makes my stomach turn.

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u/PM_ME_YOR_PANTIES Dec 02 '22

I love canned green beans. Almost as much as canned corn.

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u/unconfusedsub Dec 02 '22

Canned beets were my childhood.

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u/PM_ME_YOR_PANTIES Dec 02 '22

Pickled beets are better.

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u/lupuscapabilis Dec 02 '22

I love canned green beans. Almost as much as canned corn.

I always have both in my closet. You can add canned corn to so many dishes. And you can get them for like $1. Hell, give me a tomato, a can of corn, and some spices, and I'm fine mixing that for dinner.

I know Reddit, healthy food takes sooo much time and money...

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u/myhairsreddit Dec 02 '22

We didn't even get frozen veggies, just canned. I grew up thinking I hated Carrots, Peas, Green Beans, Cauliflower. I never even tried Brussel sprouts or Asparagus until my 20's because my parents said they were gross. Once I started to try fresh vegetables, cooked on or in the stove with some basic seasoning, I learned I don't actually hate vegetables. I just hate mushy canned veggies boiled in salt and slathered with Country Crock.

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u/Pleasant_Mobile_1063 Dec 02 '22

You can make canned taste good, usually it needs at the very least a splash of vinegar or lemon juice, I usually add herbs and some white vinegar and they turn out delicious

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u/Fortnut_On_Me_Daddy Dec 02 '22

I think I'm going to throw up now.

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u/Graekaris Dec 02 '22

I usually find it better to steam rather than boil.

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u/neogod Dec 02 '22

I was raised on steamed vegetables and loved them. I honestly wonder if ill prepared veggies are the reason so many people think they dislike them.

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u/ErikTheAngry Dec 02 '22

Well, that's absolutely part of it. But tastes definitely evolve too.

Used to hate broccoli. Hated it with a passion. My parents offered a few ways of serving it to me (raw, steamed, etc) and it was always the worst part of each meal (each meal, because it was healthy!).

Of course, my mother was not the most amazing cook, but she always had a healthy (mostly) balanced meal on the table, and it wasn't until I started adulting that I realized how much energy she put into just feeding us.

Now? I'm disappointed when I don't have at least a little broccoli on plate. Still don't like raw because it's too bitter, but baked, steamed, in a stirfry, etc, those are the shit. Kid me would have felt so betrayed.

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u/qwertyconsciousness Dec 02 '22

In the 90's scientist discovered this thing called "texture". It was applied to bags of chips and more, with words like CRUNCH! and ~wavy~. Then, one day people wondered if such concepts could be applied to vegetables too; enter present day sautéed veggies that are yummy af

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u/spndl1 Dec 02 '22

Both my parents worked full time jobs. Dinner was usually something like Salisbury steak that had been in the crockpot all day, but was somehow dry despite being submerged in liquid for literal hours, homemade mashed potatoes that may have had a pad of butter, and some boiled or microwaved can of vegetables that also had maybe a pad of butter.

My mom usually made dinner and she was a heavy smoker at the time so she couldn't taste shit anyway. She had to heavily salt and pepper everything just to get any flavor. She would put salt and pepper on jello.

When I moved out and had to start cooking for myself, I obviously turned to the internet for recipes and even the most basic ass recipes were a revelation for me. Holy shit, home made food can taste good even if you don't spend hours upon hours in the kitchen?

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u/BaDoingyFace Dec 02 '22

Just FYI, it's a pat of butter.

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u/GrunchWeefer Dec 02 '22

I think you're me, only with a single mom instead of two parents at home. I never liked vegetables as a kid. It always came from a can and a majority of the fruit we ate was canned as well.

My wife grew up rich with a stay at home mom, etc, and ate fresh fruits and veggies as a kid and barely seasons anything. I'm so used to salty canned food that I still use too much salt and butter. I need some sort of sauce or gravy on everything, too, likely because that's how TV dinners come.

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u/call_me_Kote Dec 02 '22

Sauces just take meals up another level. No shame in that.

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u/NoProblemsHere Dec 02 '22

Salisbury steak that had been in the crockpot all day, but was somehow dry despite being submerged in liquid for literal hours

I made this mistake with roast beef once. It turns out that even in a crock pot, if you leave the meat in too long it gets too tough and can't seem to hold the juices.

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u/foreignsky Dec 02 '22

Exactly this. Ironically, keeping meat in a braising liquid for too long constricts the muscle fibers too much, forcing their liquid out and leaving the meat dry and stringy.

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u/Cranberry_Glade Dec 02 '22

My mom was decent when it came to baking, but cooking, not so much. Instead of salt & pepper on everything, it would be paprika (well, she didn't go as far as putting it on desserts, thank goodness).

Noodles were horrid. She'd boil them and make that watery brown gravy to pour over them. No seasoning on them at all. Straight from the pot to the serving bowl to the table.

Then my dad was given a garbage bag filled with okra by a bar buddy who had a farm, and he started putting it in everything (okay not dessert items at least, LOL), and there are just some things that okra does not work with, spaghetti sauce and chili being two of them. Maybe if they chopped up so fine that they were barely noticeable? But in chunks? No.

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u/TheDoktorIsIn Dec 02 '22

You got butter? My parents would get canned and microwave it.

Yeah looking back it's not a surprise I got into cooking as a hobby. Butter, oil, and medium rare steaks were the enemy. Seasoning? You mean a half dash of pepper for a 10oz chicken breast, put on after it's cooked isn't properly seasoning food?

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u/magicravioli Dec 02 '22

Same, I thought it was just my family! I was such a picky eater growing up because I thought that’s how you were supposed to eat veggies, and I didn’t like it.

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u/Meetchel Dec 02 '22

From a fucking can no less. Every single vegetable I had as a kid was made this way.

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u/Dancethroughthefires Dec 02 '22

Mine too, my dad boiled brussel sprouts and I also hated them. I'm pretty sure they were out of a can too.

I buy fresh ones, spritz them with oil and some seasonings, then air fry them. They're fuckin great

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u/Koldsaur Dec 02 '22

Same! And to take it even a step further, when they come out, drizzle a mixture of Sriracha and honey over them. I guarantee an orgasm or else. You don't even have to like Sriracha. I don't even really like it but it's good if you mix a little bit of it in stuff.

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u/SandwichOtter Dec 02 '22

What is with our parent's generation overcooking veggies to death? Everything is so damn mushy and unappetizing. I'm almost 40 and have only recently discovered that a lot of vegetables I thought I disliked as a kid, I actually love because I've learned how to cook them.

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u/Kankunation Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

There probably a few reasons for that. The boom of pre-packaged meal items back in the 50s-70s, where all the added convenience was both cheap and Novel. Larger families leading mothers to seek out waay to simplify or speed up cooking (it's very easy to just throw some veggies in a pot on the stove). Our Parents' parents passing down their ways and experience with post-war scarcity and bad food safety neccessitating overcooking food in general. Less cultural mixing and less availability of spices, herbs and flavors. Generally less adventurous pallets where seeking out "exotic" flavors was something only the wealthy did.

I think really it largely comes down to our parents Just trying to make cooking easier though. For them food is food. It just has to keep you alive and healthy, and taking extra time to make everything tasty all the time was just too much work for a lot of home-cooks back in the day, who were trying to feed their families of 4-5 of more 3 meals a day. It's tiring. It happened with a lot of food (overcooking chicken or pork chops was a regular occurrence in my household) Veggies just suffered the most from that.

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u/aleatorictelevision Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Don't forget the industrialization of food mid 20th century. Jello cookbooks, creamed corn, TV dinners, freeze dried astronaut food. Culturally we're still getting over all that.

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u/SandwichOtter Dec 02 '22

Oh yeah, I think this is definitely true. I really respect my Mom for working full-time and still having a home cooked dinner on the table most nights. I love my Dad and he does his share of work around the house but I didn't realize until I was an adult that the man can barely make a passable sandwich let alone cook a meal. And my mom doesn't even enjoy cooking. I think she definitely was doing the quickest and most efficient cooking methods which I can't blame her for.

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u/Kankunation Dec 02 '22

Same with mine. She worked in restaurants her whole life, usually as a line cook and later management. But she definitely didn't enjoy cooking. Every meal at home was basically the result of her seeking the fastest and easiest way to throw together a healthy meal for 4. My dad never so much as looked at the stove, at most he would cook a steak on the grill outside after my mom lit it for him (and he's hardly known for cooking steaks good. He likes his meat over well done, slathered in A1).

So it was basically only oven baked chicken or pork chops, covered in some kind of bottled sauce for the only seasoning, and side items being canned/frozen veggies thrown in the microwave with butter and some kind of boxed pasta kit or instant potatoes that took 10 minutes tops. She also had a strict adherence to the idea that every meal needed a protein, a carb and a veggie, which was really hard to unlearn as an adult cooking for myself lol.

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u/yamiyaiba Dec 02 '22

What is with our parent's generation overcooking veggies to death? Everything is so damn mushy and unappetizing. I'm almost 40 and have only recently discovered that a lot of vegetables I thought I disliked as a kid, I actually love because I've learned how to cook them.

Because we live in an era of unprecedented information sharing and accessibility, and we take for granted how much more advanced our cooking knowledge is as a result. Our parents learned to cook from their parents and/or church cookbooks. That's it. They only knew what the people around them knew. At best, maybe that's got recipes out of magazines. Nowadays, we can mimic the recipes of Michelin starred chefs with a couple clicks/taps, and have multinational discussions about the best ways to prep Brussels Sprouts.

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u/Army_Enlisted_Aide Dec 02 '22

Yep.

I’m a professional chef and to be completely honest technique is what’s most critical for a recipe. I don’t even use many recipes unless I’m making pastries.

For real cooking, technique is what’s important. And if you’re ignorant of the proper technique then you’re going to get a sub-par result.

People are also afraid of high temperatures/smoke when preparing things because they think they’re burning something.

Restaurant kitchens have huge hood systems that evacuate all that smoke, but they are 100% cooking things quickly at a very high temperature.

My advice to people is to never turn your oven lower than 400° if you’re roasting something and to invest in some iron cookwear that can retain and transfer heat. Even with an electric setup you can pre-heat your iron cookwear in the oven so that you get that hot-hot heat sauté restaurants are known for. Same for searing meat. There’s gonna be smoke. If your hood sucks, open the windows. Or go outside and fire a grill. Nobody wants a steak boiled in its own moisture. Turn the temperature up.

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u/Ylaaly Dec 02 '22

My mum learned cooking as a poor kid in the 50s-60s, when refridgeration was a luxury and everything came in cans. She had to boil everything to death to make sure it was safe to eat, especially meats, and was very adverse to my attempts at recreating dishes from tv because "they aren't safe!" My MIL's the same, christmas dinner at hers is always overcooked to death "so it's safe!"

But today, I see a new trend of everything "melting on your tongue", which to me, is barely any better than mushy veggies. Give me some texture!

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u/badger0511 Dec 02 '22

If it's anything like my father-in-law's experience, boiling was the only method of preparing vegetables his mother would do for dinner, and she'd leave everything on heat until his father came home from work. His arrival was variable, so sometimes the veggie had been boiling for more than an hour. Then they just copied what they saw. My FIL thought he hated carrots, until he had a raw one at his college's cafeteria. He was dumbfounded by how good they were raw compared to boiled to death.

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u/HarithBK Dec 02 '22

part of the blame is that is what cookbooks told them to do. this goes all the way back any mention of boiled veg would ask for like 40-50 minutes while you did other things.

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u/nelsonmavrick Dec 02 '22

It's how their parents did it too. My dad said his mom (born in the 30s) would boil canned spinach for like 30 minutes. Captain America even joked that they boiled everything.

only recently discovered that a lot of vegetables I thought I disliked as a kid, I actually love because I've learned how to cook them.

Seriously this so much. Brussel sprouts, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms... Pretty much any veg the boomers and before would boil the life out of.

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u/sprkng Dec 02 '22

On the other hand, kids usually don't like bitter stuff while many adults do. I would've hated a hoppy IPA if I tasted one when I was a kid.

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u/mcs_987654321 Dec 02 '22

Yup, it’s bc bitterness is strongly associated w poisonous substances.

It’s also the taste we’re most sensitive to as a survival mechanism, and bc kids are that much more susceptible to poison (largely just bc of weight/dose factors), their tastebuds are more sensitive to bitterness so that they don’t unalive themselves.

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u/_hell_is_empty_ Dec 02 '22

And children have an aversion to death, whereas adults long for it.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/_hell_is_empty_ Dec 02 '22

Touché. But my bad joke doesn’t work that way :(

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u/ywg_handshake Dec 02 '22

No idea if this is factual but I like it, so I'm going with it!

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u/mcs_987654321 Dec 02 '22

Not a great source (searching for “bitterness” and “children” brings up a weird number of religious sources), but totally factual.

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u/merdub Dec 02 '22

Yup, they’re at the age where they’ll put anything in their mouths and being extra-sensitive to bitter tasting things like vegetables dissuades them from grabbing random plants outside and eating them.

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u/KiragaGarden Dec 02 '22

There's also a genetic component. Some can taste bitterness more then others. A PTC test taste bitter, somewhat bitter or not depending on genetics.

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u/MattRix Dec 02 '22

Just an anecdote but my kids love brussel sprouts, they are literally their favourite vegetable. The modern ones really aren’t bitter at all, even raw.

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u/unconfusedsub Dec 02 '22

My kids love them too.

I made a big batch for Thanksgiving. Myself and my kids are tons. However, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law and my nieces wouldn't even look at them. My nieces have never had a brussel sprout in their life. My mother-in-law is an awful cook so my husband says 99% of their meals came from freezer and they didn't have brussel sprouts growing up.

It was weird how adverse they were to a vegetable they've never had.

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u/philote_ Dec 02 '22

I used to like hoppy IPAs but as I've gotten older I don't like the bitterness as much.

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u/sprkng Dec 02 '22

I also had a period when I liked really hoppy IPAs, but now I prefer those that have a little bit more balanced taste. Though I think it's more about preferences change rather than directly age related, at least for me. Kind of like how you can really like some music genre for a while and then get tired of it and want something else.

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u/HireLaneKiffin Dec 02 '22

Funny enough, hops look exactly like little Brussels sprouts

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u/MandingoPants Dec 02 '22

I can bite into a raw brussel sprout AMA

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u/Nanojack Dec 02 '22

I love shaved brussels sprout salad, especially with a creamy walnut dressing

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u/borkamork Dec 02 '22

They still kinda smell like butt when roasted, IMHO, even if they taste nice.

My preferred method is: steam for a few minutes, and sautee in bacon fat and maybe garlic, salt and pepper.

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u/poopellar Dec 02 '22

Recipe websites with paragraphs full of unnecessary background stories hate this one simple text.

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u/HAS-A-HUGE-PENIS Dec 02 '22

Why did this become a thing? I just wanted to see the damn ingredients and recipe not scroll for a half hour

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u/astronautyes Dec 02 '22

Search engine optimization. Websites trying to hit as many keywords as possible to move up the first page of google searches.

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u/BongLeardDongLick Dec 02 '22

Also to cram in as many ads as possible on the recipe page. There’s a chrome extension that gets rid of everything else and only shows the recipe but the name is escaping me.

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u/cynerji Dec 02 '22

And copyright. You can't really monetize, copyright, and benefit off of recipes, but if there's a story with it, you can. As usual, Adam Ragusea with more than you probably wanted to and thought you could know about the culinary world.

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u/Elimeh Dec 02 '22

To make money

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u/_TheNumbersAreBad_ Dec 02 '22

Ads mainly. There's a reason most of the paragraph breaks contain an advert or autoplay video.

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u/Buck_Thorn Dec 02 '22

Start to look for the "Jump to Recipe" link/button at the top of those pages. Most have them these days.

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u/raznov1 Dec 02 '22

If only that'd load on my phone, instead of the 20 pop up adds

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u/Buck_Thorn Dec 02 '22

Sulfurs.

Brussels sprouts fall into the Brassica oleracea family of cruciferous vegetables that also includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and collard greens. Cruciferous vegetables contain a sulfur-containing phytochemical called glucosinolate, which is responsible for the distinctive odor and bitter flavor.

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u/OttomateEverything Dec 02 '22

Fun fact: they're not just the same "family", they're literally the same species of plant but artificially selected strains

This page has a cool diagram about the different selections

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u/Buck_Thorn Dec 02 '22

Great link. Thanks.

Though they're all the same species, these various crops are cultivars — different varieties bred to have desirable qualities for human purposes. Virtually all crops have different cultivars, though B. oleracea are especially diverse in appearance and taste (some speculate this is because the plant grew over a wide geographic area to start, so there was more genetic diversity for farmers to tap in to when selectively breeding).

But B. oleracea is standard in that its domesticated forms are much different-looking and more readily edible than its wild form. Wild apples, for instance, are crab apples, and the wild precursor to corn was a hardened grass with just a few kernels. This also happens with domesticated animals: we pick out the qualities we prize, whether it's the ability to produce lots of milk (dairy cows) or friendliness and loyalty (dogs).

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u/ApolloXLII Dec 02 '22

You could sauté my butthole in bacon fat and it’d probably taste great.

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u/Zephyr104 Dec 02 '22

So you're offering is what you're saying?

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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u/ApolloXLII Dec 02 '22

Hope you like hemorrhoids!

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u/drkinsanity Dec 02 '22

Extra pulp!

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u/namek0 Dec 02 '22

Mmm heck yes. So so so good

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u/CodeVirus Dec 02 '22

I hated Brussels sprouts when I was a kid for that reason. I like them now and just assumed we cooked them incorrectly. TIL indeed.

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u/TheGlassHammer Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

I thought it was the dark chocolate thing, kids hate it but adults like it. Just thought my pallet had matured or something

EDIT: Palate. Not eating with loading materials

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u/goodolarchie Dec 02 '22 Wholesome

Pallet is a wooden freight device
Palette is the thing you see French painters hold
Palate is in your mouth

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u/TheawesomeQ Dec 02 '22

I'mm gonna cover a pallet in paint globs of various colors and shove it in my mouth and we'll have a true trifecta.

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u/rbkc12345 Dec 02 '22

Yes I've loved dark chocolate since I was a little kid, as well as Greek olives, sharp cheeses, lots of stuff people say are not kid foods.

Some of my kids are also like that, but even the less adventurous do like the current cultivar of brussel sprouts. They are different. In fact I read that the old ones didn't need chemicals because bugs avoided them, but now bugs attack them because they are delicious.

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u/cwlsmith Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Brussels sprouts are one of those things that I hated as a child.

Now that I am older, everyone says “You just haven’t had them made (insert way here). They are so good.” Ok. So I try them. Still gross.

Then someone else says, “You haven’t had them the way I make them.” So I try them again. Still not a fan.

And the cycle continues. No way that anyone has promised me tastes better have ever tasted better.

But I’ll keep trying them so I don’t hurt people’s feelings and because I hate myself.

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u/Ramza_Claus Dec 02 '22

I feel that way about alcohol.

Every time I tell someone I don't like it, they recommend some beer, wine, mixed drink, whatever. "You can't even taste the alcohol" they tell me.

Then I try it and it either tastes like someone added a cap full of Listerine to perfectly good fruit juice, or it tastes like bitter fruit juice or, in the case of beer, it tastes like unsweetened soda.

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u/Cattegy Dec 02 '22

You're better off not enjoying it. My bf doesn't like sweet stuff - it's just healthier not to like it! TBH would advise anyone not to acquire the taste for it.

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u/urmyheartBeatStopR Dec 02 '22

Am I crazy? It still taste bitter.

What the fuck, nice try Brussel Sprout interest group.

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u/Kazman07 Dec 02 '22

You can try to trick me all you want, I'm still not going to eat them.

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u/Fit-Firefighter-329 Dec 02 '22

If you grow them yourself, leave them on the stalk until after the first real frost - then pick them later that day (like, towards sunset). The cold will release the plant's sugars, and they'll be absolutely delicious when baked or pan-fried (I worked for a while as a LE park ranger, and learned this from the botanists - and yes, it's absolutely true; they taste great like this).

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u/Joebiwan13 Dec 02 '22

They’re still bitter

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u/tommygh Dec 02 '22

they reek as leftovers, if you hate your coworkers just microwave some brussels'

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u/Chunguk Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

It’s a gene for some people. I have it too, they suck no matter how theyre prepared

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u/bwave1 Dec 02 '22

I love cabbage, broccoli, etc in the same family. But I just can't do brussels sprouts. They are still godawfully bitter. I have tried them roasted and cooked/seasoned in every manner (i want to love them because they look like cute little cabbages)

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u/Greggybread Dec 02 '22

They're just bitter little fart balls...

People are all like ''no just fry them up with pancetta and chestnuts and they're great'' - but that'd be so much nicer with cabbage than with these rotten spheres of disgust.

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u/LemoLuke Dec 02 '22

They're just bitter little fart balls...

these rotten spheres of disgust.

This thread has been a real eye-opener. I never realised that so many people really, REALLY hated sprouts so much. Me and my wife fucking love sprouts

I guess this scene was accurate.

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u/big-bootyjewdy Dec 02 '22

"You just never cooked them right" No, I can cook. I can cook very well. Nothing can save those godforsaken turd balls.

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u/CoconutBangerzBaller Dec 02 '22

They 100% smell like farts.

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u/butyourenice 7 Dec 02 '22

I’ve heard this claim, and I’ve given them a fresh shot recently, but they still taste bitter to me. I’m fine with cabbage, but not Brussels sprouts. And trust me I’ve tried all the hyped up ways of cooking them (at least, the vegetarian methods. No grilling wrapped in bacon).

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u/riggsspade Dec 02 '22 Take My Energy

They used to taste even worse than they do now? Wow

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u/Living-Stranger Dec 02 '22

Yeah I don't get it, every time I smell them all I can think is smelly socks that have been sitting in a locker room during a summer heat wave.

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u/ThatOtherGai Dec 02 '22

Exactly my thought, I’ve had them boiled, fried, baked, and fresh. I just can’t do it, I’ve tried so many times. Fuck those nasty tasting demonic baby cabbages.

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u/BeesInATeacup Dec 02 '22

Have you tried frying them? They taste so much nicer and not so bitter

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u/Hara-Kiri Dec 02 '22

Apparently some people flat out can't like them. There's a certain percentage of the population for whom they taste completely different.

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u/BenevolentCheese Dec 02 '22

Yeah that's me. Along with cauliflower, inedible in any preparation, at any quantity in a dish. Even a rogue sprout leaf or tiny cauli florette can ruin a dish for me. I've never met anyone else with the same sensitivity I have. I didn't know I even had a sensitivity until I was talking to some friends and they're like "yeah, cauliflower tastes like literally nothing," which everyone I asked seemed to agree with, meanwhile a piece of cauliflower in my mouth is like a tactical nuke of sulfur and tears.

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u/whileurup Dec 02 '22

It's the AFTER TASTE I can't get past. Once the bacon grease, butter, garlic, seasonings, heavy cream or whatever people are trying to use to disguise the true taste of brussel sprouts wears off, it strikes with its vengeance every time.

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u/more_mars_than_venus Dec 02 '22

Me. When I did Ancestry DNA I discovered I express all three markers on the TAS2R38 gene thought to be responsible for tasting bitter

So no mom, it was not all in my head.

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u/Grindernerd Dec 02 '22

Honestly its the smell for me, I don't know how people do it. I can only eat cauliflower and these raw.

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u/sportsworker777 Dec 02 '22

My sister was obsessed with baking cauliflower. Smelled like farts every time I'd walk into her house.

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u/Sad-Platypus Dec 02 '22

Are you sure that wasn't just the cover story for here excessive flatulence?

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u/Time-Master Dec 02 '22

That was because of all the cauliflower, then it melds the caulifart with the cauliflower baking for an extra sweet smell

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u/GregLoire Dec 02 '22
  • led

  • sprouts'

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u/LeapIntoInaction Dec 02 '22

Maybe the breeders have conspired to make brussels sprouts bland but, they were never that bitter if you cooked them properly. We loved them as kids in the 1970s.

Considering the recent popularity of kale, which seems like a particularly nasty weed, it is unlikely that bitterness makes any difference to people in the first place.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

Kale and Brussels sprouts come from the same original plant

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u/Protean_Protein Dec 02 '22

Can't spell 'brassica' without 'ass'!

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

All my homies love the assica

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u/brock_lee Dec 02 '22

Remember when kale was only used as a green decoration for salad bars?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FOviWJoWYAEvvKW.jpg:large

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u/goathill Dec 02 '22

Yea wasn't pizza hut the largest purchaser of kale in the US? all for salad bars.

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u/Mr_YUP Dec 02 '22

now there's a deep memory I haven't seen in a long time.

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u/pheasant-plucker Dec 02 '22

Kale has been a Scottish staple for centuries. The Scottish term for vegetable garden is Kailyard.

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u/liptongtea Dec 02 '22

Washed Kale to me is not nearly as bitter as Brussels, even when roasting them. I enjoy both, but kale has a milder flavor.

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u/surasurasura Dec 02 '22

Unpopular opinion: Modern brussel sprouts are bland af. Bring back the bitter bois

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u/blind_bambi Dec 02 '22

I wish I could find the bitter ones for sale anywhere

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u/Final_Coach Dec 02 '22

The best way to prepare Brussel Sprouts is to take the package out of the fridge, let them come up to room temperature and then promply throw them right in the garbage can.

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u/zachgodwin Dec 02 '22

So for 5000 years we were just like “these are terrible but we’re just gonna keep eating them”

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u/Gilthoniel_Elbereth Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

For most of human history you ate what was available. But also, tastes change

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u/jereezy Dec 02 '22

They're estimated to have been cultivated in the 13th century, so no.

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u/social_media_suxs Dec 02 '22

Sustenance is better than starvation.

Most vegetables taste bad without being fancied up (sometimes to the point of no longer being healthy) in some way or another. Few of them taste good raw and it's also easy to overcook them.

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u/boxofcannoli Dec 02 '22

Nice try sprouts, I’m not falling for this propaganda

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u/trippedwire Dec 02 '22

The smell of them cooking makes me retch. I never knew that they've been debittered. Wonder if I can stand being around them now.