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It's harvest time for the world's least favorite veggie, Brussels Sprouts

Picking at Amos Zittle & Sons Inc. Farm in Eden
BRUSSELS pic.jpg
Posted at 10:30 AM, Oct 05, 2021

EDEN, NY (WKBW-TV) — For the next month, at Amos Zittel & Son Inc. Farm in Eden, they will be harvesting Brussels Sprouts, one of the most universally hated produce. Brussels Sprouts show up on numerous "least favorite vegetable" lists.

Evan Zittel doesn't understand it. He says "I think it's just an old wives tale growing up that Brussels Sprouts are gross. I love them. Especially the way my wife cooks them for me."

Brussels Sprouts have a long growing season and they are harvested by hand. Zittel's grower Mike Wright says "they are very labor intensive as far as harvesting is concerned but up until this point, they are very low maintenance in the sense that we don't have crews out here very often."

Zittel's grow about ten acres of Brussels Sprouts and according to Evan they will supply many of the area grocery stores.

There may be a scientific reason that half the world doesn't like Brussels Sprouts. Research at Cornwall College published in Science Focus Magazine "Sprouts contain a chemical that only tastes bitter to people who have a variation of a certain gene. About 50% of the world's population have a mutation of that gene."

If you LOVE Brussels Sprouts, check out our recipes. The first is from Becca Cerne of the Eden Chamber of Commerce.


10-15 Brussels Sprouts
1 bunch of kale
Sea salt
Olive oil
Dry mustard
2-3 Shallots
4-5 Lemons
Remove the stems from one bunch kale and chop the leafy parts.
Thinly slice 10 - 15 Brussels Sprouts and mix them with the kale.
Sprinkle the mixture liberally with salt and massage the kale and sprouts as if you were kneading dough. Do this for a minute or two to release juices and break up the tough fibers to make the kale and sprouts easier to chew. They should also taste just slightly (pleasantly) salty.
Zest the peel of a few lemons over the greens.
For the dressing; juice 4 - 5 lemons and add ½ cup of olive oil to make vinaigrette. Add 1/8 tsp of pepper and a dash of dry mustard.
Chop 2 - 3 shallots and add the mixed dressing. Mix all together then pour the dressing over the salad and mix.
Eat it. All of it. It’s delicious.

4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved 1/2 large onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, then roughly chop. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon back into pan.

Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson/Food Network

Matt Agle's Brussels Sprouts Ice Cream

  1. Trim 4 ounces of Brussels sprouts, cut in half or quarters
  2. Make a glaze with 3 T butter and 4 T brown sugar. Heat in a pot until the butter and sugar melt. Whisk constantly. Don't over heat, or the butter will separate.
  3. Toss the Brussels sprouts in the glaze. Place on baking tray. Lightly salt. Roast at 450F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sprouts and glazed start to brown. 
  4. Let the candied Brussels sprouts cool, the chop into small pieces, ~1/4 inch or smaller.
  5. In a second pot, heat 1 cup of milk, 5 T sugar, 1/8 t nutmeg, 1/8 t cloves, and one packet gelatin. Whisk constantly, until milk just starts to foam.
  6. Stir in the chopped Brussels sprouts. Cool the milk and Brussels sprout mix in the pot in the refrigerator or a cold water bath in the sink.
  7. Once cooled, add 1 cup heavy cream.
  8. Churn the mix in an ice cream machine. If you don't own one, try the old rock salt method of making ice cream.

Top with candied pecans and or balsamic vinegar reduction.