A study by Cornwall College in 2011 found that Brussels sprouts contain a chemical that only tastes bitter to people who have a variation of a certain gene. This mutation affects around 50 per cent of the world’s population, so if you recoil at the taste of this classic Christmas dish then you’re basically part of the X-Men.
Experts also say that your aversion to the vegetable could be due emotional scarring. Dr Adam Cunliffe, nutritional scientist and associate lecturer at the London South Bank University, told Cosmopolitan UK that when we hate a particular food it’s “nearly always due to some kind of negative event which is connected to that food."
"That event can either be a physiological event – like food poisoning – or a psychological one dating back to when you were a child," he explained to the publication.
Negative memories of your previous encounters with Brussels sprouts might also be down to the way they were cooked.
"Boiling them was traditionally the way of doing it, but putting the cross in [a traditional preparation technique] puts in too much water," Matthew Rawson, chairman of the Brassica Growers Association, told The Sunday Telegraph.
"They turn soggy and rubbish. People who do that have ruined the Brussels sprout."
"People now are learning that it is a very versatile vegetable. The big ones lend themselves well to a stir-fry. People are steaming them, and there are fancy microwave packs. It is being driven forward by people who are more creative."
And it's true, the vegetable has had somewhat of a renaissance of late with many recipes using bacon, butter and other delicious additions to pimp the old fashioned dish.