For us Americans, Thanksgiving is the big traditional meal of the year. To qualify as Thanksgiving, there must be turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Yum!
But did you know that the lowly (and much maligned) brussels sprout is an indispensable part of a traditional British Christmas Dinner? I kid you not. Apparently, no proper Brit would consider it Christmas without some sprouts on the plate.
Along with brussels sprouts, (which most Americans hate but me), you will see the traditional Christmas turkey, roast potatoes, and parsnips. Parsnips? Excuse me, parsnips?!? I hate parsnips, and have an excuse not to eat them since I am mildly allergic to them -- which probably stems from the fact that they're poisonous!
Parsnips contain toxic psoralens, which are potent light-
activated carcinogens and mutagens not destroyed by cooking [Ivie 1981]. Parsnips contain psoralens at a concentration of 40 ppm... Consumption of moderate quantities of this vegetable by man can result in the intake of appreciable amounts of psoralens..." (source)
And that lumpy, galumphing white blob of "bread sauce" looks like it's a sad attempt to make up for a lack of mashed potatoes. However, I am eyeing those mandatory British Christmas bacon-wrapped sausages and that big slice of plain bacon and nodding vigorously. Who could say no to bacon on Christmas? (Though in our house it would be turkey bacon.)
In any event, I found this fascinating. Brussels sprouts being inextricably linked with Christmas? Whoulda thunk it!