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Brussels Sprouts are a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables, and are related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. The name comes from the fact that they were first cultivated widely during the Middle Ages in Belgium.
Brussels Sprouts first appeared on this earth when a funky, and relatively recent, natural mutation made a cabbage plant grow plenty of tiny little cabbage heads around a long stalk, instead of one central large one. Fortunately for us this was appreciated by some adventurous farmer, and the precursor mutant did not end up in the cow feed or burnt at the stake for heresy.
So eat your mutant cabbage. It has all the anti-cancer and antioxidant properties of the rest of the Cruciferous family.