When did Brussels Sprouts Get So Ono?

Brussels sprouts have come a long way from being the dreaded vegetable on the dinner plate. Once considered bland and unappetizing, Brussels sprouts have undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. They have become one of the most popular vegetables on menus around the world. 

Brussels sprouts have been around for centuries, originating from ancient Rome and later cultivated in Belgium, from which they derived their name. However, it wasn’t until the 16th century that they gained popularity in Europe and eventually made their way to North America. 

In the late 1990s scientists identified specific chemicals, called glucosinolates, that made Brussels sprouts taste bitter. Plant breeders started growing old seeds, previously discarded for producing paltry harvests, to identify tastier versions with lower levels of these compounds. 

Hello Y2K! Roasting Brussels sprouts became a game-changer. The high heat caramelized their outer leaves, bringing out a nutty and sweet flavor that was far from the mushy and bitter taste of boiled sprouts. This simple technique elevated Brussels sprouts from a side dish to the star of the show. 

Roasted Brussels-Local Twist 

At Arden Waikiki, the Brussels sprouts are roasted to perfection, bringing out their natural flavors and caramelizing their outer leaves. The deep fried Spam, (yes we said Spam!) adds a crispy, salty crunch and contrasts the textures of the tender Brussels sprouts creating a satisfying combo that you might even replicate at home. The idea of pairing these two seemingly disparate ingredients might raise an eyebrow or two, but the genius lies in the unexpected combination that takes place – thanks to Chef Makoto. 

The homemade chili pineapple sauce serves as a bridge between the saltiness of the Spam, the bitterness of the Brussels sprouts, and the inherent sweetness of the pineapple. The combination of spice and tang in the sauce creates a delightful contrast, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish. 

In a world where boundaries are constantly being pushed and local traditions are being reimagined, the Roasted Brussels represents a harmonious union of comfort. It reminds us that the beauty of food lies not only in its taste but also in the stories it tells and the connections it forges. So, the next time you find yourself at Arden Waikiki, be sure to indulge in this “local” culinary treat.