More than seven out of ten people in the UK will be tucking into sprouts for Christmas lunch this year, according to a new survey by vegetable specialists Freshtime.
But sprouts are not the nation’s favourite: carrots are the most popular festive veg, with 73% of people expecting to see them on their plate this Christmas.
“December is a very busy month for winter vegetables, especially Brussels sprouts in the run-up to Christmas, and we’re not surprised to hear that sprouts are as popular as ever,” said Mark Newton, Managing Director of Freshtime.
“Some people may have been put off sprouts as a child when they were served mushy and overcooked, but a crisp sprout steamed and sautéed with chestnuts or pancetta is a fantastic side dish at Christmas.”
The idea that most sprouts are eaten as part of a Christmas ritual is a myth: two-thirds of total UK sprout consumption happens outside the festive season in the UK – but that means around 30 per cent of the UK Brussels sprout harvest appears on the shelves in the ten days before Christmas.
The Brits eat more sprouts than any other nation in Europe.
Sprouts are rich in vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fibre and can help protect against colon and stomach cancer.
Overcooked sprouts smell a bit like rotten eggs thanks to the high levels of sulforaphane they contain.