It’s not an overstatement that brussels sprouts taste much less gross now than you can remember from your childhood. Maturing taste buds may be one reason behind this, but it’s intriguing to know that the taste of Brussels sprouts is genuinely changing over the past decades.
Did you know that Brussels sprouts are actually a human creation? These little leafy veggies can’t be found in the wild, because they’re purely the product of selective breeding done over centuries. Predecessors of these sprouts had likely originated in ancient Rome, but the form we see today came from Belgium during the late middle ages. Hence the name!
The Bad Reputation
Nearly 60 years ago, the cultivation of brussels sprouts went through a major revolution, which according to farmers, was the cause behind their bad reputation. As per brussels sprouts farmer Steve Bontadelli, the harvesting industry of the late 1960s switched over to mechanized procedure. As a result, the plants started to mature fairly evenly, with lots of beautiful green sprouts over the entire stems. But on the other hand, they also started to taste terribly bitter! Gradually people started to detest brussels sprouts, turning an entire generation off the vegetable, and making the sprouts a piece of joke around dinner tables.
In 1999, a scientific study was published by the chemical and seed company Novartis. It pinpointed the two specific glucosinolate compounds as the culprits behind Brussels sprouts’ undesired bitterness. This finding prompted several harvesting and seed companies to search for old varieties that happened to contain low levels of those bitter chemicals. Then they cross-pollinated these less-bitter Brussels sprouts varieties with the modern high-yielding ones. After years of experiments and patience, eventually, a crop was produced that was both better tasting and economically viable for industrial-scale cultivation. And just like that, Brussels sprouts rose into glory and since then have been serving as a prized side dish on the Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner tables.
Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, is not a new face when it comes to wowing the world with royal fashion moments. Recently, the Princess added another feather to her growing list of jaw-dropping fashion moments, when she adorned a stunning royal accessory at her latest dinner party. It was the fabled Lover’s Knot Tiara of Queen Mary, a personal favorite of the late Princess Diana.
The Lover’s Knot Tiara was made in 1914 by the Royal Jeweler Garrard. The design was personally suggested by Queen Mary, which was influenced by another tiara owned by Princess Augusta of Hesse, Queen Mary’s grandmother. The gorgeous tiara was embellished with plenty of diamonds and teardrop pearls already possessed by her family. Eventually, it was passed as a family heirloom to Princess Diana, who adored it and wore it on several important occasions.
Just like Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales also dazzled in this tiara, when she sported it on the occasion of the first state dinner of King Charles III’s reign. For the occasion, Kate Middleton donned an embellished regal white gown with a cape and a royal blue sash. A brooch bearing the image of the late Queen Elizabeth II was another statement piece of her ensemble. Her pearl bracelet, diamond and drop pearl earrings, and pearlescent white clutch beautifully complemented the famous heirloom tiara.
Kate Middleton was looking amazing at her father-in-law’s dinner party. King Charles III’s first royal state dinner was attended by several members of the British royal family, along with several political delegations. The dinner menu was extensive, with the starring dish being the grilled brill with wild mushrooms and stuffed Windsor pheasant. But there’s no doubt that the star of the entire occasion was none other than Kate Middleton in the showstopper Lover’s Knot Tiara.