‘Monster’ Brussels sprouts hitting supermarkets due to warmer weather

The increae in size means each sprout will take between one and two minutes extra to cook

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The Independent Online

Brussels sprouts larger than golf balls will be hitting the shops ready for the festive period, UK supermarkets say.

The abnormally large, and often controversial vegetables, are expected to be up to a third bigger and weigh more than double an average sprout.

Experts say the unusually warmer weather this autum had seen sprouts grow an extra 20 per cent larger.

November has seen temperatures as high as 15 degrees in the UK.

It has been the second mildest November on record, after November 1994.

Temperatures have been around 2.5C warmer than the average weather for this time of year

As a result, sprouts will measure 1.6 inches (4cm) wide and 1.8 inches (4.5cm) long. Sprouts typically measure 1.2 inches (3cm) wide and 1.4 inches (3.5cm) long.

But unfortunately for children, the larger sprout size will make them even harder to eat as research shows a child’s average mouth size is 1.8 inches (4.5cm) wide.

Due to the much large sizes, each sprout will take between one and two minutes longer to cook than the normal seven-to-eight minute cooking time.

Culinary experts say over-cooking the vegetables is what causes the bitter taste that many people dislike.

Normally, sprouts weigh about 15g each, but the 'monster' sprouts will be about 35g. However, they are unlikely to reach the weight of the heaviest sprout ever grown, which was 8.3kg in 1992.

As part of the brassica family, which also contains broccoli, kale and cabbage, the small green vegetables are thought to come from Afghanistan and Iran originally.

According to records, Romans cultivated the sprout until Belgium grew them widely from the 13th century - with the country's capital inspiring the name.

John Clappison, one of Morrisons supermarkets sprout growers, whose farm is in east Yorkshire 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."

Graham Cottee, sprout buyer at Morrisons said: “We expect these bigger sprouts will be highly sought after by some sprout lovers.”