I have always loved Brussels sprouts, even as a kid. Originally called Choux de Bruxelles this vegetable was first gown in the Spanish Netherlands (today’s Belgium) in the 15 hundreds. It became popular as a winter vegetable in the 19th century.
An old wive’s tale claims that Brussels sprouts taste sweeter and less bitter if the plant has been hit by a frost. I suspect this is a way to sell these vegetables to picky eaters and not entirely true. The truth: low temperatures do in fact raise the sugar content in many cabbages because their growth slows down and Brussels sprouts can actually tolerate very low temperatures (not freezing temperatures) for an extended amount of time.
Growing up in Germany I learned to only buy local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, shopping primarily at the farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets in Germany are year round and quite affordable! It must be ingrained in my system because I actually crave seasonal foods and Brussels sprouts are in season now.