Product Spotlight: Brussels Sprouts
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.
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.”
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.
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.