The Broccoli family behind James Bond claim the vegetable is also named after them

Emily Brown

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The Broccoli family behind James Bond claim the vegetable is also named after them

Featured Image Credit: Universal/Tatyana Aleksieva-Sabeva / Alamy Stock Photo

Not only are the Broccoli family responsible for bringing one of the world's most famous franchises to the big screen, but they claim we also have them to thank for actual broccoli.

Have you ever thought about where vegetables get their names? Most of them have been around so long that we just take for granted the fact that a carrot is a carrot, but the alleged story behind broccoli is actually one worth paying attention to.

Before we focus all our attention on the fluffy green veg, though, we have to start first with Cubby Broccoli; a man who went from being a teen broccoli farmer to being the producer of more than a dozen James Bond films.

James Bond is based on Ian Fleming's spy series. Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
James Bond is based on Ian Fleming's spy series. Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

As the original producing co-founder of the Bond franchise, Cubby helped turn Ian Fleming’s books into the massive series that has featured the likes of Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, and taught the world that the spy takes his drinks 'shaken, not stirred'.

Cubby's father, Giovanni Broccoli, emigrated to America from Italy and originally worked as a labourer before his brother started a broccoli farm, where all of the family went to work.

Broccoli – the veg – was apparently already in the family, as research conducted by Cubby's wife of 30 years, Dana, found his father and uncle were descended from the Broccolis of Carrera, the family who first crossed the cauliflower and rabe to produce the dark green vegetable that we're all so familiar with today.

The creators named the vegetable after themselves, and claim that's how we got to where we are now.

Cubby Broccoli and James Bond's Roger Moore. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
Cubby Broccoli and James Bond's Roger Moore. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

Recalling the work on his uncle's farm in an interview with the LA Times, Cubby said: "Myself, my brother, my mother, my father – all working on our hands and knees. Later on, we had our own farm.”

The apparent revelation about the origin of the vegetable was boosted this week when writer Dana Schwartz tweeted an excerpt from Cubby's interview, writing: “I feel like people don't talk enough about how James Bond is controlled by the Broccoli family, of broccoli fame. They're not named after broccoli, broccoli is named after them!!!!!!!! Imagine your family producing James Bond and that NOT being the most famous thing you guys have done."

Schwartz's tweet quickly went viral, but the claim has become a point of contention for some pointing out alternative origins.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word 'broccoli' actually comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means 'the flowering top of a cabbage'. It is believed to have first been used in 1699.

Having broccoli named after you would definitely be an impressive achievement, but if it turns out not to be true at least the Broccoli family have the pretty solid fallback of having brought James Bond to the big screen.

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Topics: Film & TV, James Bond, Film and TV, Entertainment

Emily Brown
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