Snozzcumbers and Oompa Loompas – Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday

Described as being a black and white striped fruit somewhere between nine to twelve feet long, with wart-like growths all over its surface, few fictional food stuffs have captured audience imaginations as much as the repugnant ‘Snozzcumber’, the vile fruit present in Roald Dahl’s classic childrens book The BFG and Spielberg’s 2016 film of the same name. And now fans can finally get a chance to eat it, sort of…

Worldís wonkiest cucumbers are to be on sale in Morrisons this week to celebrate Roald Dahlís 100th birthday and help parents looking for a healthy addition to lunchboxes this term.

Yes, from the 10th of September several supermarket chains across the country, including Morrisons, are to start selling snozzcumbers for the ridiculously cheap price of 41p for a trial period. This is to coincide with Dahl’s 100th birthday on the 13th of September, as well as celebrating the recent release of the film version of The BFG. A portion of the profits from the fruits selling will go to charity, specifically Dahl’s The Marvellous Children’s Charity for sick youngsters. It is hoped that the snozzcumbers, in reality a giant, misshapen version of a normal cucumber – will also encourage otherwise reluctant children to eat their greens.

Having being adapted for the big screen for the second time round last month in a childrens fantasy film directed by Steven Spielberg, the new film follows the narrative of the classic book very closely. The plot centres around the orphan Sophie (newcomer Ruby Barnhill) who spots an elderly giant (Mark Rylance) out of her bedroom window during the “witching hour” and is then captured and taken to Giant country. The giant introduces himself to Sophie as the Big Friendly Giant or The BFG, who unlike his monstrous brethren is more preoccupied with protecting children and giving them nice dreams. After quickly becoming friends, the two come up with a plan to stop the other bloodthirsty, cannibalistic giants, with a little bit of help from British royalty. The films popularity has just further proven the transcendent power of Dahl’s storytelling; that even years later his ability to capture the imaginations of millions is prevalent.

the-bfg

In the BFG story heroine Sophie said that the snozzcumber fruit tasted of “frogskin” and “rotten fish”, with even the BFG himself noting that the fruit tasted like “cockroaches” and “slime wanglers”, but having to constantly consume the repulsive fruit due to his reluctance to eat human meat like the other giants. It can be expected that the version being sold in Morrisons will not follow this literary description so directly, and will most likely taste like any other cucumber.

As well as snozzcumbers hitting supermarket shelves, there have also been a number of other commemorations to celebrate the iconic authors birthday. The Oxford English Dictionary has just added a number of new entries related to Roald Dahl, which coincide with the centenary celebrations and the publication of the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary. These include the words Oompa Loompa, scrumdiddlyumptious, witching hour, human bean and golden ticket.

“The inclusions reflect both his influence as an author and his vivid and distinctive style,” explained the Oxford English Dictionary chief editor, Michael Proffitt. “For many children, Roald Dahl’s work is not only one of their first experiences of reading, but also their earliest exposure to the creative power of language.”

oompa-loompa

The BFG is in cinemas now.