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Woman reveals scientific reason behind why Brussels sprouts are so popular now: 'They were so bad'

She explains why Brussels sprouts, which tasted 'incredibly bitter' before the 2010s, are now an extremely popular side dish.

Woman reveals scientific reason behind why Brussels sprouts are so popular now: 'They were so bad'
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @rantsandrocks

Brussels sprouts have become a popular side dish on appetizer menus, but have you ever wondered how they gained such popularity? Well, a woman—who goes by @rantsandrocks on TikTok—has the answer to this question. The conversation surrounding the relatively new popularity of the side dish started when TikTok food vlogger @raddicchiosalad_ said in a viral video, "I don’t know if my memory is completely shot or what, but I simply don’t remember people eating Brussels sprouts before the 2010s."

Image Source: TikTok/ @rantsandrocks
Image Source: TikTok | @rantsandrocks

@rantsandrocks responded to him with another video in which she explained: "So any kid who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s can tell you that Brussels sprouts were incredibly bitter. I couldn’t eat them, they were so bad. But in the 1990s, a Dutch scientist—his name was Hans van Doorn—he identified the chemical in Brussels sprouts that made them bitter." Those chemicals were sinigrin and progoitrin, according to van Doorn's 1998 study. Once they were discovered, Dutch seed companies made sure to breed them out. 

Image Source: TikTok/ @rantsandrocks
Image Source: TikTok | @rantsandrocks

“They were crossbred with higher-producing varieties, meaning we got more Brussels sprouts that weren’t bitter,” she added. “So by the time the 2010s rolled around, there were lots of Brussels sprouts, and they didn’t taste bitter anymore and suddenly they’re incredibly palatable—and thus, really good on restaurant menus.”

"Genetic modification isn't a dirty word and it's how we make tasty vegetables today," she concluded in her viral video which garnered over 4.6 million views.

Image Source: TikTok/ @rantsandrocks
Image Source: TikTok | @rantsandrocks

Many on TikTok were surprised to know the scientific reason behind the popularity of this side dish. @mynovalnuosis commented, "Not me with my jaw hitting the floor. I thought my taste buds just matured." @ferrytalecrafter wrote, "I just assumed everyone was making really bad brussel sprouts recipes before 2010." @jezzypc expressed, "I just thought I developed a palate for them - they were revolting when I was a kid in the 80s!" @mrs_tantrixz commented, "I haven't tried them since I was a kid. Maybe it's time to try them again."

Image Source: TikTok |
Image Source: TikTok | @rantsandrocks


Image Source: TikTok |
Image Source: TikTok | @rantsandrocks

Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts are highly appreciated by many. However, a 74-year-old man named Gerald Stratford has taken this appreciation to the next level by growing enormous vegetables and becoming an internet sensation in the process.

He became famous in 2020 after photos of him showing off some veggies while wearing a jaunty all-pink outfit in his garden went viral on Twitter. His post was an instant hit and in the weeks and months that followed, the likes, retweets and followers racked up and they have not really stopped since.



He shared that he is always busy and likes to keep himself occupied with gardening. He shared that he has been sowing since December 2019 with his partner Elizabeth. They have planted onions, leeks, cauliflowers, cabbage, peppers, chilies and tomatoes and will start planting zucchini soon. Stratford grows a variety of vegetables and enjoys a challenge.

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