Sprouts the size of golf balls are being dug up by farmers and are about to go on sale at supermarket Morrisons.
The gigantic brassicas are the biggest for a decade. They have grown 20 per cent larger than a normal year. The super-size sprouts will measure approximately 40mm wide and 45mm long. Each sprout is expected to weigh about 35g, compared to a ‘normal’ 15g.
For sprout lovers, it’s good news. For children, it’s bad news. The super-sprout will not be able to be consumed in just one mouthful. Research shows that the average child’s mouth size is only 45mm.
The sprouts have grown to an enormous size due to milder weather and good growing conditions throughout the British summer and autumn.
Average UK temperatures have been as high as 15°C during November. This has caused the sprouts to reach maturity quicker, then grow even bigger.
The monster sprouts will have the same sweet and mild taste. They will be the same vivid green colour. Though large, the sprouts will also have tightly packed leaves and a lovely crunchy texture. However, they will take an extra one to two minutes to cook, due to their giant size.
John Clappison, one of Morrisons sprout growers, said: “Our sprout plants have loved the warmer weather. The higher temperatures have made them shoot up and produce the biggest most succulent sprouts that we’ve seen in 10 years.”
More than 1,000 tonnes of the super-size sprouts will be supplied to Morrisons over the winter. The sprout season normally runs until the end of March.
Morrisons sprouts take only 48 hours to get from field to store, meaning the supermarket offers some of the freshest on the market.
Originally thought to come from Afghanistan and Iran, records show the Romans cultivated Brussels sprouts. Belgium then grew them widely from the 13th century, giving them their current name.
Overcooking sprouts makes them release bitter tasting compounds and sulphur-like smells which people find off-putting. People are encouraged to remember not to cook the sprouts for too long – seven to eight minutes is perfect.