Where Do Brussels Sprouts Get Their Name?

Now you know.

Brussels Sprouts
Photo: Kevin Summers/Getty Images

There's fried Brussels sprout tacos. There's Brussels sprout-and-leek slaw. There's practically endless ways we love this satisfying, cruciferous vegetable. But no matter how you bake, sautée, or fry 'em up, one thing remains the same: the B in "Brussels" sprouts is always capitalized.

Why, pray tell, is that? It has to do with the origin of how Brussels sprouts got their name. "Brussels sprouts are named after the fact that they were cultivated in Belgium in the 16th century," explains Christine Gallary on The Kitchn. "Knowing this little fact will also help you remember that it's Brussels sprouts, not Brussel sprouts, and it's Brussels sprout even if you're only referring to one sprout." Brussels, in addition to being the capital of Belgium, also refers to the Brussels-Capital region, which includes 19 municipalities.

WATCH: Brussels Sprouts With Cornbread Croutons

According to the New World Encyclopedia, forerunners to what we now know as Brussels sprouts were likely around as far back as ancient Rome. From Belgium, it is believed, the crop expanded to other countries in temperate Europe. Nowadays, we can grow them in our own backyards. Bottom line: We can't get enough of the nutrient-packed veggie, even if we stumble every time we spell it.

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