Sprouting fears

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Q: I have heard rumours that there is a sprout crisis this winter. What should I do if this is true? Buy if I see one, even if I can’t use it, or find an alternative? BR Wantage.

If there is a sprout crisis, then rejoice! You will not have to work out how to deal with this much-mocked whiffy brassica, which seems to serve as a kind of penance to justify our traditional festive jollities.

Do not buy unless planning on using them soonish as they will only become more whiffy and controversial. Personally, I quite like sprouts but would be perfectly happy with any other greens, cabbage, kale, broccoli or cavolo nero.

If the sprout crisis should prove to be just a flash in the internet pan then the general view for sprout worriers is not to let them near water. Chop them up in a processor and fry them off in oil with chestnuts or bacon – there are many recipes for this kind of thing, and perfectly nice they are too.

Anyway, have a Happy New Year whether sprout free or sprout loaded. Nick Welch