Thursday, January 24, 2013

Appreciation Week: Brussels Sprouts

I first ate a brussels sprout that I enjoyed in 1983. It was during my time in Washington, D.C., not long after I had begun to eat vegetables in general. I went to a friend's house for dinner and she made them with butter and garlic, I think. In retrospect, the fact that I tried them at all was a mark of my new-found maturity, and I was surprised that I liked them. It helped reinforce my path toward becoming a mostly adventurous eater.

I don't always like brussels sprouts as they are prepared, though. Some people seem to think that all they have to do is steam them whole and toss them on a plate. Wrong, very wrong. Roasting is much better.

But then there are the chefs at Brasa Rotisserie, who prepare them in what is probably the best way possible: Cut up into smallish pieces and pan seared with lime juice until they are caramelized, then topped with pickled ginger and sunflower seeds.

This photo in no way does them justice:

The best parts are the blackened bits. Don't rely on my description and definitely not on this photo. You have to go and taste them yourself.


Michael Leddy said...

I've loved Brussels sprouts from childhood. I think this dish will be in our family's future -- wow, and thanks.

Daughter Number Three said...

Michael, your comment got me to wondering if I should have capitalized the B in brussels. Google to the rescue and this is the result:

In general, style manuals for all types of publications prescribe a streamlined "down" style for capitalization of words derived from proper names but used with a specialized meaning. This means that regardless of the style manual you consult, The Associated Press Stylebook (for newspaper style) or The Chicago Manual of Style for book and magazine style), you are likely to decide to lowercase the "B" in brussels sprouts on analogy with the initial "F" in french fries. The Chicago Manual, however, notes permissively that "Authors and editors must decide for themselves, but whatever choice is made should be followed consistently throughout a work."

This, of course, is license to do whatever your fancy directs. It is the Grammar Hotline's opinion that lowercasing brussels sprouts is one tiny step toward popularizing them. Furthermore, it is my considered opinion that Brussels sprouts are so vile that they do not deserve to be popular. In a quixotic attempt to keep them off my dinner plate, I am going to recommend consistent uppercasing of the "B" in Brussels sprouts.

You can do what you want, of course (as long as you do it consistently), but if you choose the "down" (lowercase) style, don't come crying to me when your local burger jockey tries to close your order with a cheery "Do you want brussels sprouts with that?"