The original sprouts (Brassica oleracea convar) are thousands of years old and were first introduced in South Europe by the Romans. Around the middle ages, the cultivation of the little cabbages began in the North of Europe, especially in fields near Brussels. They became a popular winter vegetable. Belgian and French colonists eventually took the sprouts with them to North America, they were first introduced in Louisiana under the name Choux de Bruxelles.
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These days Brussels sprouts in Europe are mainly cultivated in England, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. In many languages, including Afrikaans (Brusselspruit), English (Brussels sprouts), Italian (cavolini di Bruxelles), Polish (brukselka), Turkish (Bruksel lahanası), and the Swedish (Brysselkål) the name still refers to Brussels.
Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C and have potentially a positive effect on the prevention of cancer because they contain glucosinolates.