Feb 28

Unlikely Icons. Number One: The Brussel Sprout

Few things so neatly divide a people as the Brussels Sprout.  The love camp tends to base its preference on taste and a positive association with festive occasions.  The loathe camp, on the other hand, is peopled by victims of childhood neglect, abuse, and the British education system who were forced to eat every last one of their sprouts.  Why the perpetrators of their abuse chose Brussels sprouts I don't know, but the little things have been used to torment children since the days of Ancient Rome.  Perhaps, in anticipation of the emotional baggage to which they were to contribute, they were made a member of the cruciferous ("cross-bearing") vegetable family.  Tantalizingly close to a combination of "crucify" and "lucifer", it wasn't a foreboding of inedible school dinners to come - it refers, only, to the cross-like formation of the leaves.

There you go - utterly useless information about something pretty insignificant that, none the less, has the power to divide a dinnertable.


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