When it comes to the great British Sprout, where do you stand? The love hate relationship is one I’ve never fully understood. Sprouts take pride of place on our dinner table and I don’t simply mean Christmas.
In my opinion the humble sprout receives such a bad press due to the nature of its cooking and not the vegetable. It was national joke that before the Sunday roast went into the oven; the vegetables would be put on to boil. However, those days have now long since gone, and the profile of the sprout has raised with most veg now being steamed or receiving the minimum amount of cooking to keep fresh and retain nutritional value.
Did you know the UK sprout industry is worth over £54 million a year, with us Brits eating more than anywhere else in Europe?
Provenance of our food, including the humble sprout has never been more important than it is today. I enjoy nothing more (when fortunate to dine) to learn where my lamb, beef, pork or even fish was reared or caught. This sort of attention to detail is already standard in many of the best eating-houses. When you visit Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market, you’re buying local and seasonal. You’re also in touch with the people who bake, rear, grow and produce all things good. Local food from local people, provenance on a plate.
Something as simple as buying your sprouts from your local farmers’ market, not only supports your local economy but it allows small-scale producers to compete with large supermarket chains. Local produce supports local businesses, it helps local employment and keeps money in the local economy. What’s more, contact with the local producer can give you a better knowledge of how something is produced.