Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time that brings people together, but the New York Times has decided to tear us all apart with a polarizing recipe they say will be our "new favorite Thanksgiving appetizer": Brussels sprout sliders.
"I'd rather eat my own fingers," replied Bram Stoker Award-winning author Kealan Patrick Burke.
The New York Times' recipe was written by Marla Rose of the popular blog Vegan Street, and the paper described the Brussels sprout sliders as "a creative and fun way to enjoy a great fall and winter vegetable."
Basically, they're a vegan "slider" created by slicing a Brussels sprout in half, and skewering it on a toothpick with a piece of seasoned tempeh in the middle, so it looks like an extremely tiny hamburger, but with a sprout instead of a bun and tempeh instead of meat.
The recipe was actually published two years ago, but when the New York Times posted the recipe to its Twitter feed this week, the internet reacted with the same mix of fury, disgust, and hilarious memes it brought out back in 2015 when they suggested adding peas to guacamole.
First it was peas in my guac, now it's brussels sprouts to replace buns? Is nothing sacred in 2017?!— Marissa D (@marissad415) November 20, 2017
Why y'all trying to ruin Thanksgiving?— Brennan (@bwalters90) November 20, 2017
The thing is, these Brussels sprout sliders sound like a delicious, if labor-intensive, way to eat Brussels sprouts. Caramelized onion and whole-grain mustard both taste great with roasted Brussels sprouts, and the tempeh is marinated in olive oil, tamari, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, and liquid smoke, which would give it a distinctly bacon-y flavor.
If it were all roasted together and served as a side dish, everyone would carefully try to pick up a piece of each component on the fork to get the best arrangement of flavors. What this recipe has done is take away that step, so now each skewer is a perfectly arranged bite.
Marla Rose, author of Vegan Holidays for Everyone, said the outsized reactions to her recipe were hilarious.
"It's hilarious to me that people would be so angry about this recipe but it's not a shock at all: so many people are just socialized to overreact to vegan food like it's a personal threat," she said. "I found the reactions to be totally funny and I had a good laugh."
Rose says it's not uncommon to see extreme reactions to vegan versions of things omnivores love. We saw that earlier this year when Twitter got very upset about a recipe for eggplant bacon.
"It's quite possible that people are overreacting because of the tempeh: tempeh is one of those 'love or hate' things and I know plenty of vegans who dislike it," Rose told Kitchn. "Also, you see these extreme reactions when people think vegans are trying to reinterpret something that is adored by meat-eaters — in this case, sliders. Don't worry, guys. Last I checked, sliders were still available."
Her Brussels sprout sliders are meant as an hors d'oeuvre, not an entire Thanksgiving meal by themselves. As an appetizer, though, they're a fan favorite at her own gatherings.
"I think if people tried it with an open mind — and an expansive palate — they would love them," she said. "People I've served it to have loved the sliders and they have a bit of a cult following. They're like candy!"
Would you ever try Brussels sprout sliders? Let us know in the comments.