Our hero, dressed in cat burglar black, is strapped to a table made of gold. An amused guy in a crewcut is standing over him. A killing laser beam is burning its way through the table and up to the trapped gentleman’s…person.
“Do you expect me to talk?”
“No, Mr. Bond,” laughs Goldfinger. “I expect you to die.”
This lethal deadpan characterizes much of the terrific James Bond movie franchise, which to generations of grown boys (and very patient women) remains the gold standard of the Immersive Movie Experience. But how many people know the role played by broccoli in the legendary Bond movie history? Yes, the vegetable. By the way, broccoli is absolutely radiant with glucoraphanin—but let’s keep our focus.
While there are few things in this Earthly existence as seemingly unrelated as a plate of steamed broccoli and James Bond’s tuxedo-clad coolness, the Bond movie origins are as bound to the dark green veggie as was Sean Connery to Goldfinger’s laser-carved table. Albert Broccoli, founding and longtime producer of the James Bond movie franchise from its launch in 1962 to his death in 1996, was descended from the Broccoli family of Carerra, Italy. They’re the supervillains (or tastemakers, depending on your fondness for the stuff) who engineered the modern broccoli by crossing a cauliflower and a leafy plant called rapini. The Bond producer’s Italian immigrant family, vegetable merchants and farmers, actually introduced Broccoli to the U.S. when they arrived in the 1870s.
When vegetable farmer Albert made his way from his family’s Long Island broccoli farm to the Hollywood of the 1930’s, author Ian Fleming’s James Bond lay in wait on the movie history horizon. In the classic Bond movies of the 60s and 70s, you can still see the famous beginning credits open with “Albert Broccoli presents”. The Bond movies were, and through the producer’s children remain, inextricably linked with the Broccoli name.
We could add here that broccoli (the vegetable now, not the legendary movie producer) is technically an edible flower, is seething with phytonutrients, jumping with vitamins A and C, amped with antioxidants, and has enough fiber to keep your clockworks clicking and your blood sugar mellow. But we’ll leave it at that. The sudden change of theme could confuse the reader, and we would much rather have you stirred than shaken…