Why Brussels Sprouts Used to Be Inedible 🌱

Henry Belcaster
Henry Belcaster
3 min read

Morning Sprout!


Brussels sprouts.

(yes, Brussel is plural lol)

If you were a kid in the 90s, this dinner scene should look familiar:


And Durd isn’t a picky eater!

Brussels sprouts used to contain something that made them taste like dog sh*t.

They were literally inedible.

So what changed?

Well, enter the dutchest of scientists – Hans van Doorn:

Hans is pissed.

So he makes this inedible brussels sprout problem his life’s mission.

He dives in..

And he quickly discovers the chemical in brussels sprouts that give them a sulfur smell and bitter taste.

These, glucosinolates:

In fact, it’s the same compound that gives broccoli and kale and wasabi their pungent taste.

Glucosinolates evolved as a plant’s defense mechanism against herbivores – plant eaters.

So Hans van Doorn gets an idea.

He starts mating brussels sprouts together:

And over time, he selects less bitter mates to breed out the glucosinolates.

He had done it!

He was left with a Brussels sprout baby that had way less glucosinolates in it.

His sprouts had a delicious, sweet taste.

So, thank Hans next time you see brussels sprouts on a fancy restaurant’s menu.

They’re actually edible now..

Stay Cute,
Henry & Dylan 🌈

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