Posts Tagged ‘brussels sprouts’

Oh, one more thing …

I should be done with Christmas dinner by now, what with the prior “sugar smack bacon” post and all … but actually there’s one other food crime still to flag.  Frozen brussels sprouts.

I remember one PBS multi-part feature on China which took a lingering look at the role of cabbage in the Chinese diet, and the value of cabbage as one of those root cellar vegetables that will winter over, providing nutrition until new crops begin to come along in the spring.  Root cellar vegetables need the minimum in terms of preservation techniques; they seemed designed by nature to endure with minimal fuss and no special techniques to keep them edible for the long stretch.

And so, you know, brussels sprouts are like tiny cabbages, right?  And as such, you can keep them in the vegetable bin of your fridge for unconscionably long times, until you get around to eating them (want to want them sooner?  Halve them and roll them in olive oil, S&P, and roast them, then toss in a honey-mustard-butter blend and serve.  You’re welcome.)  But back to my point: given the in-built enduring character of the vegetable, why on earth would you want to buy frozen brussels sprouts? 

Some vegetables come through the freezing process with less in the way of quality reduction than others, but I think we can agree that some cell wall damage is part of the bargain for having vegetables on-hand and ready to cook in your freezer.  That cell wall damage softens the mouth feel of the cooked frozen vegetable in a noticeable way, but as I say, it’s part of the bargain of keeping something on hand until who-knows-when you’ll feel like cooking it.

Fortunately, that’s not a bargain you’d ever have to contemplate with brussels sprouts, which winter-over in root cellars (never mind freezers) just fine.  But so, then why buy frozen brussels sprouts?  Especially if you have the option of grocery shopping every single day, if you needed to?  (Yes, retired people, I am talking at you.)

The discerning reader will already have grasped the point of this post, and I won’t belabor it — I’m not really a qualified gourmand, I just have my preferences, and they don’t include frozen brussels sprouts or microwaved bacon — things I’ll be avoiding in future.   

And, as I’ve said, in all other respects, Christmas dinner was very fine.