'Virgin Mary' chips cause crunchy controversy
Whoever thought of naming chips after the Virgin Mary should probably have his or her head examined. British sandwich shop Pret-a-Manger has just had to withdraw their new "Virgin Mary" brand of chips after Catholics complained because the name has religious undertones. Well, um, DUH!
The chips, which were actually inspired by the Bloody Mary cocktail and named "Virgin Mary" because it's a non-alcoholic version of the spicy tomato delicacy, were clearly a terrible idea from Day 1. I mean, really, how did nobody catch that it might be extremely offensive to Catholics? That's just ignorance if I ever saw it!
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According to BBC News, the restaurant, which has shops all around the world, received complaints from patrons that the name of the chips was an offensive reference to Jesus' mother. More than that even, A company spokesperson said that it wasn't even necessarily that they had a huge amount of complaints but just that the "strength of feeling" was so high. Personally, I just don't understand why they didn't see this coming! The company did reply to this controversy:
We are extremely sorry that the crisp name that we had selected has offended you. This wasn't our intention. After receiving a number of comments similar to yours, Clive (Pret's CEO) has taken your advice and decided to remove all of the crisps from our shops... We will be donating the unsold crisps to homeless charities that we support across the country. We do listen and we have tried to react quickly.
I'll admit that I don't really care much about religion. I wasn't raised in a religious household and most of my family is either atheist or agnostic. However, I know a wrong when I see one and calling a bag of chips "Virgin Mary" is really, REALLY wrong. I really hope that Pret gets a little bit more wise and don't name their next product after something that has religious overtones. I do, however, hope they bring those chips back because they DO sound delicious. Unfortunately for their poor naming choices, though, we may not be seeing them anytime soon.
Image via leff/flickr