New Vegetable to Hit Store Shelves in U.K.
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Green shoots: The flower sprout is a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale and goes on sale at M&S on Monday
by Jennifer Lawinski, Posted Jan 20th 2010 @ 2:00PM
Vegetables just got a little bit more interesting as the first new vegetable to hit store shelves in nearly a decade is making its debut in the U.K., the Daily Mail reported.
A cross between Brussels sprouts and curly kale, the new vegetable – called the flower sprout -- is a small purple-and-green sprout with curly leaves. (Frankly, from the photo in the Daily Mail, we think it looks a lot more like kale than the sprout, but that's just us.)
It will be sold at Marks & Spencer grocery stores in Britain starting Monday -- the first new veggie added to the roster since tenderstem broccoli came on the scene in 2002, the Mail reported.
"Customers love our mini lemons and black apricots -- we hope people will be just as excited about tasting a completely new vegetable," M&S vegetable technologist Simon Coupe told the Mail.
"Both kale and Brussels sprouts are from the same species (Brassica oleracea) and are part of the same family called Brassicas or Crucifers. This means that their genetics are very similar even though their outward appearance is different," he said. This allows them to be cross-bred, creating a new hybrid species.
The flower sprout's taste is similar to that of the Brussels sprout, and it's best served steamed or stir fried.
One farmer growing the flower sprout, Martin Haines, told the Mail he has high hopes for the new vegetable. "We are so excited. I think our other sprouts are green with envy."