I like to think of brussels sprouts as tiny heads of cabbage. In fact, brussels sprouts belong to the same family as cabbage, the brassicaceae family. They are tiny buds that grow from an upward sprouting stem resembling a skinny tree trunk.
Since brussels sprouts thrive in cold climates, the best time to buy them is during winter. In winter, the brussels sprouts food reserves convert to sugar and make them sweeter and more palatable. Typically, when buying brussels sprouts, the smaller the better. These tend to be sweeter and less bitter. Look for brussels sprouts that have tight, compact leaves with freshly cut, undried bottoms that aren’t oxidized or brown.
One of my favorite ways to cook brussels sprouts is simply roasting them to bring out their sweetness. Brussel sprouts are very versatile, and can be shredded for slaw, boiled, fried, braised in things like cider or mixed with other vegetables to make a nice medley. Farm2ChefsTable roasts the brussels sprouts and tosses them with whole-grain mustard.