Some authors have referred to the possibility that they were known in classical times, and cite stray references from Brussels in the 13th century and documents about wedding feasts of the Burgundian court at Lille in the 15th century. However, sprouts only became known in French and English gardens at the end of the 18th century and a little later in N. America, where
As far as I have been able to find out, Eliza Acton was the first in England to give a recipe in her
Modern Cookeryof 1845. In fact she gives several suggestions in one recipe, including the Belgian style of pouring buttery sauce over them, or tossing them in butter and a spoonful or two of veal gravy; she says that this is the Belgian mode as served in France, which makes one conclude that she had eaten them when she had spent a year there as a young girl round about 1820.