Stirlingshire café’s deep-fried Brussels sprouts becomes one of the most talked about menu items this Christmas

Stirlingshire café’s deep-fried Brussels sprouts becomes one of the most talked about menu items this Christmas

Embracing the holiday spirit with an innovative twist, Scotland’s iconic roadside café, The Real Food Café in Tyndrum, Stirlingshire has delighted customers by adding deep fried Brussels sprouts to its festive menu this year.

The unexpected addition has become a runaway success, captivating taste buds and elevating the festive dining experience for locals, passers-by, tourists and a growing number who travel hours to the café to enjoy the café’s award-winning fish and chips.

Renowned for their commitment to quality ingredients and culinary innovation, the café’s unconventional take on what is often viewed as a soggy side to the main event, has generated a buzz throughout Scotland, resulting in a Facebook poll result on 20th December which saw 86% of respondents in favour of the new menu addition.

Customers delighted in the menu addition with comments such as “I so want to taste these they sound amazing! Mouthfuls of a mini whole cabbage beautifully fired!  Who wouldn't like them and yes, bring me lardons too!”.

Using a simple recipe which focuses on the key part of cooking a great sprout, the preparation, the cafe's chefs have transformed the traditionally overcooked and under loved Christmas staple into delectable, bite-sized delights that are perfectly crispy on the outside with just the right amount of ‘bite’ on the inside.

The café charges £5 for a dozen deep fried sprouts, accompanied by a tangy honey and mustard dip.

The surprise success of the humble yet divisive sprout can be attributed not only to the cafe's creativity and innovation, but to the growing popularity of Brussels sprouts as a ‘must have’ on the menu for Christmas 2023.

Sales of Brussels sprouts are going through the roof at Waitrose, the supermarket reported earlier this month.  According to the supermarket, the little green vegetable has seen a growth in sales of 150 per cent versus the same time last year and searches for ‘Brussels sprouts’ on the supermarket’s website were also up 87 per cent month on month.  Waitrose also revealed that recipe searches for ‘shredded sprouts’ were up 607 per cent month on month and 65 per cent compared to the same time last year.

92.7 million people on TikTok have also searched ways to serve up the vegetable.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland show this morning, Sarah Heward, owner of The Real Food Café, talked about the key element of a successful sprout – the preparation.

She said: “I think the reason is that people have had bad experiences with sprouts is because they’ve been overcooked.  My granny’s sprouts used to run off the plate – they were more like a soup!”

“They’re not difficult to make – the secret is in the preparation and the cooking, frying them in good, clean oil.  You can get them ready peeled – we don’t.  Peeling sprouts is quite a therapeutic thing I feel, standing in the kitchen zoning out for a while with some Christmas music on.  We’re selling them with a honey and mustard dipping sauce but you can put whatever you like with them – that’s the beauty.”

 With word spreading about the unique addition to the menu, the café expects to see an influx of curious diners eager to experience the festive taste sensation themselves.

 She added “Christmas is all about fun moments, creating memories and of course enjoying delicious and unforgettable flavours which you might not taste during the rest of the year, so we’ll be keeping the deep-fried sprouts on the menu as we move into January and then transforming this into something equally delicious for our Spring menu.”

The recipe for The Real Food Café’s Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts is available on the café’s website here: