Anika R.
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Rosenkohl - Brussels Sprouts - Kohlspros ...

Rosenkohl - Brussels Sprouts - Kohlsprossen

Jul 20, 2021

On my one instagram account @german_words_and_phrases I have been talking about food and most recently about vegetables. I’m making a whole post just about cabbage because there are so many: kale, red cabbage, cauliflower, …. and Brussels sprouts.

The German word for Brussels sprouts is “Rosenkohl” which translates to “rose cabbage”. And looking at the little buds, it makes sense because they do look like roses. But while I was reading up on cabbages (I’m not a fan and don’t know much about them), I came across older names for Brussels sprouts: “Brüsseler Kohl” - cabbage from Brussels, and “Sprossenkohl” - sprouting or sprouts cabbage.

And in Austria, Brussels sprouts are called “Kohlsprossen” (cabbage sprouts) or “Sprossen” for short.

So, what do these little cabbage balls have to do with the city of Brussels?

Photo by: TANITAMON auf Pixabay

The answer is actually pretty straight forward. The Belgians (in Brussels) started cultivating this kind of cabbage. Depending on the source, this cultivation started in the 13th, 16th, or the 18th century. It was brought to the US in the 18th century via French settlers.

Brussels sprouts are the ideal winter-stock vegetable since freezing temperatures don’t harm the plants. Harvest season in northern Europe is from September to March while in the US, the sprouts are harvested between June and January.

The Netherlands and the UK produce the most Brussels sprouts in Europe (around 82,000 tons), followed by Germany with 10,000 tons.

How do you like Brussels sprouts (if you like them)?

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