The supermarket chain’s rechristening of the much-maligned vegetable will see families tucking into “Yorkshire sprouts”, “Lincolnshire sprouts”, and “Scottish sprouts” during Christmas dinner.
Social media users questioned whether there was a political motive behind the decision to strip the sprout of its usual association with the Belgian capital, which is home to the European Union’s institutions.
Although native to Mediterranean Europe, Brussels sprouts are popular in Belgium and are thought to have derived their name from the country, where they have been grown before the 16th century.
Writer Huw Lemmy compared the supermarket’s renaming of the vegetable to American restaurants calling French fries “freedom fries” in response to France’s hostility to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“One last, a Brexit benefit,’ one commentator joked.
Another critic added: “This country is beyond parody”.
But others were happier to see Morrisons rename the vegetable, including Brexit Party MEP Lucy Harris, who tweeted: “Pretty cool that Morrisons is replacing ‘Brussels’ with the sourced county.”
Another wrote: “Get in Morrisons. That’s why people voted to Brexit, to get the Yorkshire sprout instead of Brussels.”
A spokesman for Morrisons said the decision to rename the vegetable had nothing to do Brexit.
He added: “Many of our customers are interested in knowing where their food comes from. Our Lincolnshire sprouts are called Lincolnshire sprouts because they are from Lincolnshire. Our Yorkshire sprouts are called Yorkshire sprouts because they are from Yorkshire. Many of our customers like to know that.”
It is not the first time the humble sprout has caused consternation in Britain this week.
On Monday, police in Wales asked people not to waste their time after a 999 caller asked where they could buy the vegetable.
And in Rosyth, Scotland, last week a lorry carrying thousands of the vegetables spilt its load on a road.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies