Peking duck

Peking is the romanized version on the capital city of China, Beijing. Peking duck was a dish that was cooked for the emperor and was “leaked” to the public. It became popular in kitchens across China.

Quote of the week

I got nasty habits; I take tea at three.

Mick Jagger

Sopaipilla

Sopaipillas are fried pastries served alone or with a meal.  They are common in many places around Latin America and the southern US.  Sopaipilla is the diminutive form of sopaipa.  The root word there being sopa, meaning soup. In this case the ‘soup’ is the bread soaked in oil.   

Eater of broken meats

You will find in King Lear by Shakespeare this intimidating string of insults:

A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service; and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.

What is an eater of broken meats?  This insult indicates that the person is poor and eats other’s leftovers.  Often times less palatable parts of the animal are ground up and made into things like sausage.  This, I believe, is what they are referring to.  Not actually taking the discarded food of others out of the dumpster out back.  

Fruit of the Loom

Fruit of the Loom is a play on words from the biblical phrase ‘Fruit of the womb’ (meaning children).  A textile merchant in Providence, Rhode Island named Rufus Skeel , applied his daughters paintings of apples to each bolt of fabric he sold.  When the textile mill owner, Robert Knight, who sold Skeel his goods, came to visit the store saw these painted apples he determined that he had found the perfect picture to represent his brand.  The name Fruit of the Loom soon followed.  Mr. Knight trademarked his new brand earning him just the 418th trademark number.  

Quote of the Week

Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go.
Margaret Walker

Russet

Russet means a cloth of reddish brown color. We get this word from the French word rosset which is a diminutive of ros.

The Bar

To most people ‘the bar’ is a place to hang out with friends, but to a lawyer it is the pivotal test that allows you to practice law.  Is there a connection between these seemingly unrelated things?  Yes!  To bar someone is to ban someone from something.  If you are barred from coming within 20 feet of your ex you are restricted from that area.  A tavern or “a bar” always has a tall counter (where the bar tender stands) banning the public from snagging expensive liquor off the shelf.    This is a very practical application of the word.  The bar exam has a more metaphorical meaning.  In a courtroom there is a wall separating the acting members of the trial (the judge, the lawyers, etc.) from the public.  You have seen it on Judge Judy.  It’s the low wall with the awkward swinging door.  This ‘bar’ became used for the name of the test that qualifies you to practice law.  It was what stood between being a part of the public and being part of the court.  

Sushi

What does sushi mean?  Raw fish? Rolled up?  Delicious?

Sushi actually means vinegared rice.  All sushi contains vinegared rice.  This was news to me too. The origins of sushi exist in the practice of fermenting fish.  The fish would be fermented by wrapping it in fermenting rice.  Once the fish was done, the rice would be discarded.  Later vinegar was added to the rice to improve the flavor and the rice began to be eaten with the fish.

Modern sushi is not fermented.  This came to be for reasons of time and efficiency.  Modern sushi is an early form of fast food, easy (enough) to prepare and easily held in the hand.

Modern sushi is not fermented, but all sushi contains vinegared rice.

Green Goddess

Green Goddess dressing was born at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920s.  The dressing was made in honor of the actor George Arliss who was at the time in a popular play called…yep…The Green Goddess.  The plot involves imminent doom and dismay in India for three American tourists who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The play and the dressing were both extraordinarily popular in the 20’s and 30’s.  The dressing is commonly made with mayo, sour cream, anchovies, tarragon, chives and parsley. 

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