How do things get their names? One day Ogg discovers the flamey thing on a piece of wood and decides to call it fire? Someone happens to mix together chocolate, eggs, flour and comes up with Devil’s Food? I’m always wondering how things became and how they were named. Looking back, even just into culinary history, I have to wonder about the discovery of yeast, the creation of souffle and eating really stinky cheese. How sad that the person who figured out the right proportions of fat and flour to make pastry is lost to time. Unlike more modern kitchen creations, we don’t have magazine articles and contest winners to tell us the cook behind chicken and dumplings or oatmeal cookies, but for some recipes we do have some really wonderful names.
Has anyone tried Toad in the Hole or Bubble and Squeak? Two English recipes with probably the best names ever. Toad in the Hole is sausages (containing no toad) that are cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter and Bubble & Squeak is mashed potatoes cooked with cabbage. Our Toady recipe is not to be confused with Eggs in a Basket, which is a fried egg cooked inside a piece of bread with a hole in the center. Toad in the Hole seems to have been around since the mid-1700s, and likely had a precursor of “pigeon in a hole” which actually did contain pigeon. Ahem. I’ll stick with toad…err…sausage. Although sausage can be….oh well, best not to think about it.
Another Brit gift in the world of interesting food names is Bangers and Mash. Quite simply large sausages and mashed potatoes, Bangers and Mash sounds far tastier (and even better if you put on a heavy British accent).
For those fond of Ms. Jane Austen and cheese (not necessarily in that order), why not give Welsh Rarebit a try (Apparently, she was a fan of “toasted cheese”, a cousin of this dish). No rarebit or rabbit is involved, merely loads of cheese, cream and some yummy toast. Why is it that the recipes with the best names are always so full of fat? Hmmmm.
Well, I’m off to fry up a little sausage for my own Toad in the Hole. If you know of any wonderfully wacky food names, please pass them on.