LAST CALL: Britons sprouting PR blitz to rename a lowly vegetable

While we are still manfully struggling to digest the last

turkey-curry-fricasee-stir fry-sandwich left over from Thanksgiving, and

looking ahead in horror at the next foodfest which is the forthcoming

winter holiday, thank your lucky giblets that you are not in

England.



Yes, the unfortunate residents of that small island over the pond are

annually subjected to the cruel and unusual punishment that is Brussels

sprouts.



And if that wasn't bad enough, it gets worse. There's a bid to rename

them British sprouts.



Sainsbury's grocery store chain has wrapped the Union Jack around that

lowly winter vegetable so frequently and ineffectively hidden under

plate rims by children. This comes at the urging of the British Sprout

Growers Association (BSGA), a year-old concern mounting the "Sprouts

bite back" PR campaign. Last year, the effort got a media relations

boost by rushing to the maligned veggie's public defense after a travel

agency chain ran ads featuring them as a reason to leave the country

during the holidays.



BSGA founder Alex Bingham cites a general British distaste for the

European Union as an argument for dropping the Brussels adjective, and

most sprouts are in fact grown on those islands known for frightening

cuisine.



For Sainsbury's the move is purely patriotic, part of a broader attempt

to support the British agricultural industry by touting domestically

grown produce. And the name change was only temporary. It's on trial for

four weeks, and if research doesn't show a boost in sales, the

minicabbages will again be blamed on the Belgians.



Fortunately, we doubt the new name or the British love/ hate for sprouts

will spread to this country in time to shove candied yams off our

Christmas plates.



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