Albert Broccoli - descendent?

A work colleague and I were recently discussing the origins of the Clementine fruit (a hybrid between a tangerine and a Mandarin orange), when the subject of other fuit or vegetable hybrids took over. My colleague mentioned that broccoli was actually a cross between cauliflower and spinach and was named after its “inventor,” a descendent of Albert Broccoli, the famed movie producer for the James Bond films.

Can any of this possibly be true? And does the elder George Bush have an aversion to Bond flicks as a result? Thank you in advance for your answers.

A quick Googling indicates broccoli was known to the Roman Empire, so unless Mr. Broccoli is amazingly old I think the tale you heard is unlikely in the extreme.

Maybe, instead, the ancestral Broccolis chose that as their surname because they all had big, bushy heads???

No. For one thing, cauliflower and spinach are completely unrelated and could not possibly be made to hybridise.

You both misspelled and misused the word “descendant”. The “inventor” would have been an ancestor (grandparent, great-grandparent, whatever) of Albert. Albert’s descendants would be his own grandchildren, great-great-great-grandchildren, etc.

The word broccoli is Italian for “flowering tops of cabbage plants”. The singular form is broccolo. I’ve heard the story your colleague related, but the Broccoli family would have taken its name from the crop an ancestor grew, not the other way around.

Broccoli is not a cross between cauliflower and spinach. Rather, it’s one of many cultivars of the plant Brassica oleracea, which also incorporates such vegetables as cauliflower, kale, and cabbage.

Substitute “antecedent” for “descendent” and you have here the outline of an often-repeated tale which appears to suffer from a conspicuous shortage of corroborating evidence.

IIRC from a James Bond documentary, Albert Broccoli’s family was from a region of Italy known for its broccoli.

Various “respectable” web sources (Reuters, NY TImes) attest to the fact that the family connection between Albert Broccoli of Jame Bond fame and the vegetable, broccoli, is a widely circulated notion, if not the truth. Some versions of the story state that his ancestors invented broccoli, others merely state that they brought the first broccoli seeds to America.

Albert Broccoli was born in an area of Long Island near to where I live. An ex-boyfriend of mine, who in 2010 is currently 64 years old, says that his family knew Albert Broccoli’s family. This ex-boyfriend told me that the story that Albert Broccoli’s family invented broccoli has been around a long time locally - that the local people heard this story years before Albert Broccoli became famous.

Albert Broccoli is a descendent of the family that discovered broccoli. I actually searched google to find this info and was surprised that I didn’t see this info in Alberts bio.

I used to be a courier in Century City ( beverly hills area) Ca. I delivered in twin tower buildings where there were a lot of production companies and entertainment law firms. Albert’s film company opened an office in one of the buildings one day. After about a couple of weeks, I asked her about the horse Brocco. (Albert had a successful race horse at the time). The receptionist then told me about Albert’s prior family history that discovered broccoli. So yes, it is correct.

Fablady3 :slight_smile:

Mmm… Zombie broccoli.

Somehow a third-hand story from a receptionist doesn’t quite strike me as the type of cite we will accept as evidence around here.

If you go back far enough, don’t Albert Broccoli and cabbage plants have a common ancestor?

Yes. Broccoli and cabbage both descended from a now-extinct plant called the ‘babbage’. The family that was most prominent growing this crop took their name from it. Their descendant was Charles Babbage, who originated the concept of the programmable computer.

I read that originally the only way to eat broccoli was to melt cheddar cheese over the top of it. In the old days, cheese was in huge blocks and there was no real easy way to melt a little bit, so of course they used way too much cheese. It was more like a cheese soup with broccoli added to it. It was soon realized that due to this short-sightedness and waste that they couldn’t see the florets because of the cheese.

My cousin’s ex-husband’s friend’s co-worker knew a guy in a warehouse that used to supply vermouth to the set of the James Bond movies, who said that Albert Broccoli was actually originally called Adolf Sauerkraut, but changed his name after the war to avoid sounding too German.

Tree cabbage? Who knew?

Stop it! Just stop it! For whatever reason (probably because it’s funny) this just tickled the hell out of me and I laughed out loud and now I can’t stop smiling.

It’s a sickness, I can’t help it.

It is true that all vegetables are invented. In fact, they would never exist if this were not done. Silly the notion that they evolve and grow on their own! Of course broccoli was invented, and only a Broccoli could do so! He also invented James Bond, of course, and any notion that he was a character developed by some writer called Fleming is just as ludicrous! By the way, there was another writer named Fleming (not Ian) who gave an account of a certain comedian who was killed in a bar incident by three individuals of whom Mr. Broccoli was one. His cousin, one of the other men involved, just happened to be a died-in-the-wool mobster. Don’t let that persuade you that the man who invented a wonderful vegetable and a heroic spy figure could have been involved in such an unsavory incident. Anyone with taste knows broccoli is oh so good…

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