Alex Massie Alex Massie

Elitist Greens

Matt Yglesias reconsiders his position on arugula. Of course, in Britain we call “arugula” “rocket” – a much more homely, substantial, salt-of-the-earth kind of name, you will agree. A ploughman might have rocket in his sandwich, he’d never have “arugula” would he? Names matter!

I can’t recall for certain, but I’m pretty sure arugula used to be called rocket in the United States too, but that the name was changed because someone – growers? Supermarkets? – wanted a poncier, more exotic, upscale name for the stuff.

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