James Bond, the world’s most famous spy, may have an unusual connection to broccoli.
Yes, the vegetable. The Bond films are currently produced by Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G Wilson.
Broccoli’s father, Albert R “Cubby” Broccoli, was the original producing co-founder of the Bond franchise, turning Ian Fleming’s literary series into a cinematic behemoth.
While many might assume that the Broccoli family name perhaps came after the vegetable, the family in fact claim it is the vegetable that is named after them.
Earlier this week writer Dana Schwartz tweeted an excerpt from a 1989 LA Times interview with Cubby, 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!!!!!!!!”
She added: “Imagine your family producing James Bond and that NOT being the most famous thing you guys have done.”
In the original article, Cubby says that his father, Giovanni and his brother, immigrated to Long Island from Calabria at the turn of the 20th century.
According to Cubby, who cites his wife Dana’s research, they were descended from the Broccolis of Carrera, who first crossed cauliflower and rabe to produce the dark green, thick-stalked vegetable known as broccoli.
It was this vegetable that supported them in the United States, as Giovanni’s brother started a broccoli farm.
While Schwartz’s tweet quickly garnered over 16,000 likes, many have pointed out that the origin of the vegetable is contested.
According to Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary, the word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage”.
Meanwhile, Ancestry.com states that the name is derivative of a grower or seller of the vegetable.
Broccoli – the Barbara variety – is currently on the search for the next 007 after Daniel Craig hung up his tuxedo.
Whoever it is, they must be ready for a “10-12 year commitment”, she said.