Sprouts are a vegetable I usually dislike (even though I’m fine with cabbage and broccoli). To my palate, they taste very bitter. It is part of family mythology how I once ridiculed my little brother for turning his nose up at a bowl of sprouts, loudly announcing “Look, I’ll eat one myself!” I popped one of the wee quinine bombs into my mouth, chewed, and was forced to spit it out again, in spite of the inevitable humiliation…
It’s possible that I am among the 35% of women who are “supertasters,” which merely means we have more taste buds and an increased sensitivity to bitterness. (About 15% of men are supertasters.) Indeed, I can barely eat radicchio, and dislike grapefruit. Some soy milks taste bitter to me, and I detest Campari. On the other hand, rapini is by far my favorite vegetable, and I adore olives! Not to mention the occasional gin and tonic, in season.
I have only experienced non-bitter sprouts three times in my life.
(1) Tiny and marble sized (very difficult to find), sautéed in a pan.
(2) Broiled at Jean-Georges (they tasted a bit like a broiled steak).
(3) Pickled in a jar (yummy and not bitter in the least).
We made our own pickled sprouts a couple of weeks ago, and broke open the first jar for a taste test.