Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea) are members of the Brassicaceae or cabbage family including cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and collards. Originally recorded in 15th century Europe, the plant was primarily cultivated in Belgium’s capital city of Brussels.
The tops of stalks are sometimes eaten as greens, but the small ‘cabbage’ heads are the prize. California is a top growing region and East Coast producers include Maryland and New York, with imports augmenting supply, primarily from Mexico.
Types & Varieties
There is little variation in Brussels sprouts; types may be separated into hybrids, heirloom, early-maturing, late-season, openpollinated, or ornamental. “Kalettes” are a Brussels sprouts and kale hybrid, offering a fusion of the two vegetables’ flavor and texture.