ABC Wednesday - S is for...


I have to admit sprouts aren't my favourite vegetable, in fact I agree with an ex-colleague who described them as spawn of the devil at an office Christmas lunch a few years ago. Nearly everyone else looks at me like I've gone mad when I say I don't like them. They ask What DO you eat on Christmas Day then? and look at me pityingly. Answer: roast parsnips plus leeks and carrots freshly picked from the allotment usually. No problem. You may have guessed the picture illustrating this post isn't from my allotment. You're right - it's from next door's.

I was most amused when Anna (thanks Anna - I'll link to you when your Blog's ready) contacted me a couple of weeks ago with the information there's an annual sprout festival held in Worcester. It appears a local chef there believes the sprout is a much maligned vegetable and is doing his best to redress the balance. Unfortunately I couldn't tell you more about it at the time, but it did get me thinking about the other unusual food, vegetable and gardening related events we have here in the UK. I've mentioned one of them already, the rhubarb festival held in Wakefield each February/March. There's loads more and it struck me that this is exactly the kind of valuable service You Ask, We Answer (YAWA) should be providing for its readers: a diary of the more unusual or eccentric events we have in Britain. So I've started to compile one - I already have the above two festivals, plus mistletoe, chilli, tomato, potato days, apple days, and the national giant vegetable championships on my list. I'm also trying to track down the national Mangold Wurzel throwing championships - I think that happens around here somewhere. The annual cheese rolling in Gloucestershire deserves a place and perhaps the woolsack race in Tetbury too? I'd also like your help in compiling the list - do let me know of any events you know about with any website links, if you have them, in the Comments below. I'm happy to include non-UK events too! As soon as I have the list, I'll issue it as a YAWA supplement on here with a link to everyone who's helped in its compilation.

In the meantime, here's a hilarious sprout game you may like to have a go at! NB I think it'll only work if you have Flash installed.

PS As you may have guessed, YAWA will be making further guest appearances on here from time to time ;) And I've just noticed this is my 500th post - yay!

Do move over Swiftly to the ABC Wednesday blog for more Stories from the letter S...


  1. Sprouts are one of my favourite vegetables.
    I even have my husband eating them now because for the longest time he said he didn't want to even try them.
    Now we have them at least once a week.

    Bear((( )))

  2. YAWA-APE Texas branch reporting.

    We have the Blue Bonnet Brew Festival in Austin, Texas

    The Prarie Dog Chilli Cook Off and World Championship Pickled Quail Egg Eating Contest in Grand Prarie Texas

    and the 177th Dr. Pepper Birthday Celebration in Dublin Texas.
    Dr. Pepper is a drink not a person.

  3. I like sprouts very much, though Charlie won't eat them at all and neither of my kids ever liked them. Steamed with a little butter, pepper and salt........yum!

  4. Sprouts are one of my family's favorite vegetables (well, I see Bear Naked agrees).

    As to festivals, a small town here in Illinois has a Broomcorn festival complete with a parade featuring the Lawn Rangers--a group of men pushing lawn mowers and doing some marching manuevers with them. And when I wrote my post about the woolly worms a month or so ago, I found that many towns in the U.S. have a woolly worm festival. I know there's something weirder than that, but I can't remember it right now. I'll have to think about it...

  5. I'm with you...Sprouts don't do a thing for my taste buds.
    I think I'll skip the festival too thank you.

  6. I don't like them either. But your post is very funny.

  7. We LOVE brussel sprouts... YUMM!!

    Congratulations on your posting milestone... WOOHOO!!

  8. I have found that even Brussels Sceptics (geddit?) often like them if you steam them normally for just five minutes, dry them off, chop them in half, and then stirfry them in sesame oil with quite a lot of sesame seeds and fresh root ginger.

    They still taste christmassy, because of the ginger, but they have an oriental flavour that way that gets round a lot of people's Brussel sprouts-warning-o-meter. It's really gratifying to have people going "oh, that's actually quite.....nice!"

  9. PS in all the sprouting around, I forgot: I would like to say Ponsest! to your 500th post. Well, the Word Verification would like to anyway.

  10. If you need vitamin K, sprouts are one of the things to get. At least it tastes (to me) much better than spinach - which has even more.

  11. Wish I could have got to the sprout festival VP - I like mine stir fried with bacon and chestnuts - mmmmm. I am a bit worried that my two sprout plants at the allotment are not going to be ready to harvest in time for Christmas :( However I must admit that you do get some rogue sprouts which taste foul. Here in Cheshire we have gooseberry shows and near my home town of Peterborough the world conkers championship is staged. I think that there is a worm charming event locally as well but can't remember the details just now. If you have a look at the what's happening section of this website
    : it lists a myriad of weird and wonderful events held in the UK.

  12. I like sprouts - sliced and stir fried with onion and bacon.
    Strange I hadnt heard about the sprout festival despite living in Worcestershire. Have you seen that TV programme about mad British festivals - something like Best of British. Quite good!

  13. VP,

    I was sure I left a message her...oh well. The sprout game was too funny, I sent it to a friend who couldn't stop laughing...she loves sprouts! It's not a food festival but down the road they celebrate Mule Day...complete with mules on parade!


  14. I love sprouts. I couldnt eat them all the time, but I can snaffle a few with a nice roast dinner. Or as left overs in bubble and squeek. Love that name. Bubble and Squeek!

  15. I love sprouts yummy, but not the after effects, lol (sorry to lower the tone!)

    Congratulations on your 500th post! Here's to the next 500 ....

  16. How about The World Stinging Nettle Eating Championship held around 21 June each year at The Bottle Inn, Marshwood, Dorset. Yes, it is a completion to each the most stinging nettles, the record is 76 feet. Totally mad!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  17. Hi!
    I'm with you, I don't like sprouts either!! Take Care!!


  18. Sprouts once a year, on Christmas Day. It's quite enough. Horrid little beasts.Strange how we develop these food fads, isn't it?
    Congrats on the 500th post. Here's drinking a toast to you, perhaps in coffee too very soon?

  19. hate sprouts.
    fun post.
    Good game.
    Big congratulations.

  20. I love sprouts raw or cooked (but not boiled).
    Re your blog comment. We attended CAMRA festivals in Durham years ago and still try to get to a few around London! Yes I did watch "In Bruges" before we went - beautiful scenery amongst the scattered bodies :-)

  21. Not quite a food event but earth related the national Bog snorkelling competiton held at Llanwrtyd Wells each year. They have also had the real ale wobble, mountain biking and pub crawling in one day!

  22. Huge laugh!! Where do you get you wonderful things from. That crazy game...yes I did it. But sprout festival VP naaa that is too wird.
    Happy Thanksgiving with love, peace and understanding....and a few sprouts. / Tyra

    I wonder if I can tempt you with an apple

  23. I too love sprouts as long as they aren't boiled to death but especially with bacon and chestnuts. We don't have them for Christmas dinner though - doing sprouts for 16 is an overrated pastime so we have broccoli instead (also everyone likes broccoli).

    We were talking about odd festivals while I was in Africa. Apparently there is a dwarf throwing festival somewhere (it may be Australia) and a hole digging one somewhere in Denmark I believe. It takes all sorts.

    The hole digging one, you have to dig the deepest hole you can in 20 mins and then stand in it. It used to be 30 mins until someone died because their hole was so deep that the sides collapsed and they were killed.

  24. I didn't read my own writing there so the last sentence looks as if it was written by a child - that would be my second (or is it third) childhood.

  25. I love sprouts, but these days they don't like me very much!

  26. Hi ABCers - thanks for hopping on over, now to hop on over to you :)

    Deb - yay my first foreign correspondent! I'm looking forward to looking those up. We have Dr Pepper over here too BTW

    Nancy - no, I'm still not converted :(

    Rose - I can't stop giggling at the thought of the Lawn Rangers :D

    Guyz - thanks, I'm a bit whoo hoo about it myself!

    Emmat - tee hee. I think I'll try your recipe as it sounds similar to a stir fried cabbage recipe a friend of ours does. I hope it cures the f@rt problem too? And I loved the post you did over at yours today - thanks for the link love :D

    Anna - Commonground's on my source list alreadu 'cos of their apple info, though I'd forgetten they've loads more on there too. And thanks for reminding me about the goosegogs championships :)

    PG - I need to search that programme out - sounds like excellent source material!

    Gail - it looks like both you and Frances had the same problem. Hmm was that a Tennessee or a Blogger thing I wonder? So glad the game went down a storm and thanks for the Mule Day info!

    Yum - I love Bubble & Squeak. Haven't had a sprout version of it though. There was a guy at Uni who did a version of corned beef hash with sprouts though. Yuk!

    Angelcat - did you notice how I'd diplomatically sidestepped that most unfortunate side effect? Thanks for the congrats!

    Sylvia - nettle eating?! That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for! ;)

    TS - so glad we're as one on this one. And yes, I did enjoy our coffee get together yesterday :D

    Karen - that's so lovely of you, as ever :)

    EG - I wonder when you were at the Durham Beer festival? 1981/82/83 perhaps?

    Samantha - thanks for the reminder about the bog snorkelling. It just HAS to be included doesn't it?

    Tyra - the sprout game came courtesy of the ex-colleague who called sprouts the spawn of the devil!

    IE - welcome back from your explorations! Hmm, must research your leads a bit further...

    Dragonstar - I think that's why I didn't like them very much in the first place!


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