Monster-sized sprouts are about to fill supermarket shelves near you
Sprouts the size of golf balls are being dug up by farmers and are about to go on sale at supermarket Morrisons.
Experts say the gigantic brassicas are the biggest for a decade and have grown 20 per cent larger than a normal year.
The super-size sprouts measure about 40mm wide and 45mm long and each one should weigh about 35g.
Normally, a sprout weighs just 15g. But milder weather and good growing conditions throughout the British summer and autumn have been credited for the spurt in growth.
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 10 years.”
Average UK temperatures have been as high as 15°C during November.
Steve Ryan, regional manager for Morrisons, said: “Normally, the sprouts we sell are only 30mm in diameter and weigh 15g.
“We expect these bigger sprouts will be highly sought after by some sprout lovers.”
He said the monster sprouts will still have the same sweet and mild taste and will be the same vivid green colour.
Though large, the sprouts will also have tightly packed leaves and a lovely crunchy texture but will take an extra one to two minutes to cook because of their larger size.
Over 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 say their sprouts take only 48 hours to get from field to store, meaning they are some of the freshest available.
Spotlight on sprouts:
Sprouts are originally thought to come from Afghanistan and Iran and records show the Romans cultivated Brussels sprouts.
Belgium then grew the vegetable widely from the 13th century, giving them their current name.
Sprouts are members of the brassica family, which also includes cabbage, broccoli and kale.
There are more than 100 varieties of sprouts.
82,000 tons of Brussels sprouts are grown in the UK every year.
The area covered by Brussels sprout fields in the UK is the equivalent of 3,240 football pitches.
Overcooking sprouts makes them release bitter tasting compounds and sulphur-like smells which people find off-putting. So, don’t cook the sprouts for too long – about seven to eight minutes is perfect.
The heaviest ever sprout was grown in 1992 and weighed 8.3kg (18lb/3oz).