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Veg-Fresh Farms

Product Spotlight: Brussels Sprouts
Overview
Brussels Sprouts are a delicious and incredibly nutritious vegetable – high in fiber, high in vitamin C, and a good source of folate. And, for every 8 ounces of Brussels sprouts, you’re getting 5 grams of protein too! Take them beyond the boiled routine of your childhood; try roasting or braising for a heartier side dish, or shredding for salads with a more unique texture.
Availability
Veg-Fresh Farms Brussels Sprouts (conventional and organic) are available from Mexico year round and from California from October through January. 
 
Available Pack Sizes
          Loose 18lb, 19lb, and 25lb
          24/1lb mesh bags
          12/2lb mesh bags
 
          Loose 10lb and 25lb
          12/1lb and 24/1lb
          12/12oz and 8/32oz pouch bags (coming soon!)
 
Retail Merchandising Strategies
  • Brussels sprouts are available year-round, so create a display any time of year
  • Encourage customers to try and recreate restaurant sides at home – this is a great opportunity for cross-promotion. Some cross-merchandising ideas: soup making ingredients, Parmesan cheese, lemons, other cooking vegetables, and olive oil.
  • Display Brussels sprouts on refrigerated surfaces to keep them cool. When they get warm, their leaves start to yellow.
  • Winter: Brussels sprouts can be promoted as an alternative to green beans for holiday side dishes.
  • Spring/Summer: Promote as a great side dish for any meal. When the weather warms up, they can be brushed with olive oil and grilled as a great side dish for a BBQ!
  • Fall: As the weather gets colder, Brussels sprouts can add flavor to vegetable soup recipes. Sauteéd or roasted Brussels sprouts also make a hearty and warm side dish for a cold day.
 
Cooking Tips & Ideas
This hearty veg is hard to over-cook, and a great intro cooking veg for some at-home cooks who may express hesitation at cooking with Brussels sprouts – they may things like “my roasted veggies always burn.” Assure them that Brussels sprouts are very hard to mess up!
 
Give customers ways to make them; there are so many options: boiled, baked, braised, roasted, fried, steamed, shredded (raw for salads), sautéed, and turning the leaves into “chips.”
 
Veg-Fresh Farms Brussel sprouts
 
Storage
In the store: Typical shelf life 3-5 weeks. Store in refrigerated section 32°F, with mist. They can be somewhat sensitive to freezing injury.
 
At home: It is good to store your fresh, unwashed, and untrimmed Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Your sprouts may last up to a week in the fridge; their taste gets stronger and less sweet over time.
 
If you are going to prep your sprouts, whether you trim, cut, or shred them – make sure to place them in an airtight container for no more than one to two days in advance.
 
Fun Facts
  • There are more than 110 different varieties of sprouts. This year’s top types look likely to be Albarus, Brodie and Kryptus, which have been bred specifically for flavor.
  • Brussels sprouts were grown in Belgium from the 13th century which is what gave them their name, though the ancient Romans grew them too. 
  • The United States of America saw the introduction of Brussels sprouts in the 1700s by some immigrants from France.
  • In 2008, Linus Urbanec of Sweden set a world record by eating 31 sprouts in a minute, one at a time using a cocktail stick.
  • The largest sprout on record weighed 18lb 3oz.
  • Brussels sprouts contain a sulphur compound (glucosinolate sinigrin), that can produce a displeasing smell and a bitter taste when overcooked.

 

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About TidBits

TidBits is a blog by Veg-Fresh Farms, a place to find training, trends, recipes, and more.  Check back weekly for retail and food service insights, as well as what's happening in the Veg-Fresh Farms Test Kitchen.