‘Virgin Mary’ Potato Chips Yanked From Shelves Because Catholics Found Them Offensive

potato chipsWell shoot. I was really looking forward to sampling these potato chips I'd heard about. They're flavored like a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary, "with Worcestershire sauce and chili." Rockin', right? Oh, but just one eensy weensy little problem: They were called "Virgin Mary" potato chips. And the chips have been yanked off the shelves because people complained about the name.

The chips were sold by sandwich chain Pret A Manger. When Catholic group Protect the Pope caught wind of the snacks, they started a campaign against them, saying the name was offensive because don't you think it's a little sacrilegious to name a potato snack after the Mother of Jesus?!?


Look, they sound like amazing potato chips. If I were the Virgin Mary, I'd be pleased to have such a tasty snack named after me. But we don't know if Mary had a sense of humor, nor if she would have found favor with Worcestershire sauce.

The Bloody Mary cocktail was not named after Mary, mother of Jesus. Legend has it the drink was named after Queen Mary I, nicknamed Bloody Mary for her persecution of Protestants, or after Mary Pickford, or after a waitress named Mary. So the potato chips name is clearly a reference to the cocktail and maybe the queen. It's just that "Non-Alcoholic" doesn't have quite the same ring on a package as "virgin," so ... ehrm ... Actually, I can see how that name would still offend some Catholics.

If only the people in the past who came up with the idea of calling non-alcoholic versions of cocktails "virgin" could have seen into the future and observed the sadness of pulling "Virgin Mary" potato chips off the shelves, maybe they would have come up with some other euphemism.

But it's too late! Yummy Bloody Mary potato chips are gone. And I wouldn't have gotten to try them anyway, because apparently they were sold only at Pret A Manger restaurants in London, and definitely not the one down the block from our office. (I know, because I looked for them there.) UNLESS! They re-name the chips something else, like "Brunchy Marys" -- I'm just brainstorming here -- and then Pret can send them over here, too! Because we have lots of Catholics, but we also have lots of potato chips and Bloody Mary fans.

Do you think religious groups should be offended at these potato chips?


Image via jamesonf/Flickr

Read More >