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EAT YOUR WORDS
Books by Charlotte Foltz Jones Mistakes That Worked Accidents May Happen Fingerprints and Talking Bones Eat Your Words
FASCINATING LOOK AT THE LANGUAGE OF FOOD Charlotte Foltz Jones Illustrated by John O'Brien Delacorte Press
The author gratefully acknowledges Lauri Hornik, who knows how the cookie crumbles and what to do with the crumbs. Text copyright ? 1999 by Charlotte Foltz Jones Interior illustrations copyright ? 1999 by John O'Brien Fun Facts art copyright ? 2018 by Shutterstock Cover art used under license from Shutterstock.com All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Originally published in hardcover and in slightly different form by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, in 1999. Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC. Visit us on the Web! rhcbooks.com Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at RHTeachersLibrarians.com Library of Congress Cataloging-? in? Publication Data is available upon request. ISBN 978-1-5247-6681-8 (trade)'ISBN 978-1-5247-6686-3 (ebook) The text of this book is set in 11-'point Garth Graphic. Interior design by Ken Crossland Printed in the United States of America 10? 9? 8? 7? 6? 5? 4? 3? 2? 1 Updated Edition Random House Children's Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.
Dedicated to JOHN PAUL JONES, who brings laughter to the table, but who never has second helpings
CONTENTS THE MEAL BEGINS 1 CHAPTER 1: FOOD FOLKS Beef Stroganoff 3 Caesar Salad 4 Eggs Benedict 5 Graham Crackers 6 Lobster Newburg 8 Macadamia Nuts 9 Melba Toast and Peach Melba 10 Reuben 11 Salisbury Steak 12 Sandwiches 13 Food for Thought: Laws of the Food Police 14 CHAPTER 2: FOOD ON THE MAP Baked Alaska 16 The Big Apple 18 Bologna 19 Buffalo Wings 20 Fig Newtons 21 Mayonnaise 23 The Nutmeg State 23 Sardines 24
Turkey 25 Food for Thought: Twelve Months of Food Fests 27 CHAPTER 3: FOUR-'LEGGED FOOD Hamburger and Steak Tartare 30 Horseradish 33 Hot Dog 33 Hush Puppies 34 Sirloin 36 Food for Thought: Four and Twenty Blackbirds 37 CHAPTER 4: EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY Canap? 39 Chess Pie 40 Hors d'Oeuvre 42 Lollipop 42 Pie 43 Pretzel 44 Sundae 45 Food for Thought: Great Moments in Candy History 47 CHAPTER 5: WHAT'S IN THAT SHOPPING CART? Bread-and-Butter Pickles 49 Coconut 51
Eggplant 52 Marmalade 53 Po? Boy 54 Pumpernickel 56 Food for Thought: Phony Baloney 57 CHAPTER 6: TALKING TURKEY Baker's Dozen 59 Bring Home the Bacon 60 Corny 62 Couch Potato 63 Eat Humble Pie 64 Give the Cold Shoulder 65 Sell Like Hotcakes 65 Spill the Beans 66 Top Banana 67 Your Goose Is Cooked 68 Food for Thought: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is 69 CHAPTER 7: BY WORD OF MOUTH Carnival 73 Company and Companion 74 Form 75 Garbled 76 Lord and Lady 77 Parasite 78
Precocious 79 Salary 79 Union 80 Food for Thought: A Forkful of Fortune 81 MEAL'S END 85 Selected Bibliography 87 Index 91
EAT YOUR WORDS
THE MEAL BEGINS In sadness and in joy, people eat. In victory and defeat, people eat. Before thinking, while thinking, and after thinking, people eat. While meeting, reading, writing, waiting, riding, resting, listening, spending, watching, and touring? .' .' . people eat. Because food is necessary to survival, our entire culture is based on it. It's in our laws, our money, our superstitions, our celebrations, and especially our language. This book is about the history of food-'related words and phrases. It's not about nutrition, cooking, recipes, or kitchen safety. It's a shopping list of curious food etymology, and a menu of the origins of funny-'sounding food. And to add spice, there is 'food for thought'''tasty tidbits of trivia for the mind to chew. Bon app'tit! ('Enjoy your meal!')
CHAPTER 1 FOOD FOLKS Beef Stroganoff The Stroganoff family was well known in Russia for hundreds of years. With their great wealth, they helped develop the Russian mining, fur, and timber industries. One of the last prominent members of the family was the popular Count Paul Stroganoff. In the early 1800s he was a diplomat, a member of the court of Tsar Alexander III, and a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts. He was also a gourmet who loved to entertain guests by hosting dinner parties. One of the dishes he often Some people leave their fingerprints in the cake frosting. Other people's names are on the menu.
served was made with saut'ed beef, onions, mushrooms, sour cream, and other condiments. This dish became known as beef Stroganoff. Doesn't it seem odd that a family who contributed so much to a great country's development is remembered today for a beef dish served over noodles? Caesar Salad Caesar salad has nothing to do with the emperor who ruled Rome two thousand years ago. The Caesar salad at your local caf? was originally called aviator salad. In 1924 an American named Alex Cardini worked at his brother's restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. One night, more customers than normal came in to eat, and the restaurant kitchen ran out of the usual menu items. So Alex put together odds and ends''eggs, romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper. He made croutons out of some dried bread and then mixed everything together. The customers loved it! He named it aviator salad since the restaurant was near an airfield. Later the name was changed to Caesar salad after Alex's brother, who owned the restaurant.
Eggs Benedict You won't find eggs Benedict on a fast-'food menu. It's a very rich breakfast item made of English muffins, poached eggs, Canadian bacon, and hollandaise sauce. There are two stories about the origin of eggs Benedict. Either might be true. The first story: A wealthy lady named Mrs. LeGrand Benedict was having lunch at Delmonico's, a restaurant
in New York City, one Saturday in the 1920s. She complained that there was 'nothing new? on the menu. The chef put together 'something new.' Mrs. Benedict was pleased, so the chef named it eggs Benedict. The second story: Samuel Benedict, a New York socialite, had had too much to drink one night in 1894. He went into the Waldorf-'Astoria the next morning and ordered his 'perfect remedy for a hangover.' It was such a great combination that the hotel's restaurant added it to the menu and named it eggs Benedict. Graham Crackers Sylvester Graham was a Presbyterian minister in Connecticut in the early 1800s. He was convinced that people were suffering from many bad habits, including poor diets. He preached against tight clothing, soft mattresses, and alcohol. He thought pepper, mustard, and catsup caused insanity. He preached in favor of exercise, open bedroom windows, cold showers, and a vegetarian diet. He also recommended 'cheerfulness at meals.' Graham is probably most remembered for his belief that white bread was evil and people should eat 'unbolted? wheat flour (wheat flour from which the bran has not been removed). He urged women to stop buying bread from bakeries and instead to make their own.
This suggestion so infuriated professional bakers that a street fight once broke out in Boston after one of Graham's sermons. But Graham had many followers. Graham societies formed, and Graham boardinghouses and Graham food stores opened. Today health experts know that Sylvester Graham wasn't all wrong. People are exercising more, eating more vegetables, and using whole-'wheat flour. The graham cracker is still popular, although most commercial graham crackers are made with bleached flour, sugar, and preservatives''not the healthy ingredients the Reverend Sylvester Graham preached about.
S'MORES Lobster Newburg Lobster Newburg is a very expensive dish with a very funny history. Ben Wenberg was a sea captain who traveled all over the world. On a trip to New York City in 1876 he brought a recipe he'd picked up in South America. He was given 4 graham crackers 4 regular-'sized marshmallows 1 1.55-'ounce milk chocolate bar Preheat your oven to 400'F. Break the graham crackers in half and place them on a baking sheet. Place the marshmallows on half of the graham cracker portions. Break the chocolate bar into equal pieces and distribute those among the other graham cracker halves. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove the sheet from the oven with mitts. Place one graham cracker half with chocolate on top of a graham cracker half with marshmallow. Do the same for the rest, serve, and enjoy. Makes 4 s'mores.
permission to prepare the lobster-'and-'cream dish in the kitchen of Delmonico's restaurant. It was an instant hit. The chef added it to the dining room's menu and named it after the captain''lobster ? la Wenberg. Soon afterward, Ben Wenberg was involved in a huge brawl at the restaurant. In anger, the chef changed the name of the famous dish. So lobster ? la Wenberg became lobster Newburg. More than a hundred years later restaurants all over America still serve lobster Newburg. Macadamia Nuts Macadamia nuts could have been called von Mueller or Hill nuts. In 1857 two botanists, Ferdinand von Mueller and Walter Hill, were in the Australian bush country when they discovered a tree that had never been described in scientific terms before. Von Mueller decided to name the tree after John MacAdam. MacAdam was a physician from Scotland who had come to Australia in 1855 to lecture and work. Von Mueller and MacAdam had become good friends. Dr. MacAdam never tasted the macadamia nut and never even saw the tree that was named after him. He died of pleurisy while on board a ship bound for New Zealand in 1865.
Melba Toast and Peach Melba Dame Nellie Melba, an opera singer from Australia, toured the world from 1887 to 1926. While she was performing in London, she stayed at the Savoy Hotel. Trying to stay slim, she ordered thinly sliced toast. One day someone in the kitchen sent out bread that appeared to be too thin and overtoasted. The waiter apologized, but Nellie loved it. Thus it was named melba toast. Another well-'known dish was named for this great singer. In 1892 the chef Georges-'Auguste Escoffier attended one of Dame Nellie Melba's performances. Afterward he created a beautiful dessert in the shape of a swan, using peaches, vanilla ice cream, and crushed raspberries. He named the dessert peach Melba in her honor. 10
Reuben This unique sandwich is made with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on rye bread. Two Reubens share the credit for its creation. Arnold Reuben operated a restaurant in New York City. The story goes that in 1914 an actress who was starring in a Charlie Chaplin film came into Arnold Reuben's restaurant and announced that she was very hungry and wanted a large combination. The sandwich Arnold Reuben fixed for her was such a success that he named it after himself! This version of the Reuben used ham instead of corned beef. Another story says that in 1955, at a weekly poker game in Omaha, Nebraska, the participants fixed their own sandwiches. One player, Reuben Kay, devised the combination of ingredients. And this, most people agree, was the birth of the Reuben sandwich.
Salisbury Steak It seems as if experts today are constantly changing their minds about what's good for us. It was the same in 1888. Dr. James Salisbury was a British doctor who became well known as a health expert. He preached that eating well-'cooked ground beef three times a day would cure tuberculosis, hardening of the arteries, gout, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism, mental derangement, and pernicious anemia. He also recommended drinking a glass of warm water before and after each meal. Other doctors laughed at Salisbury, but many people believed in his methods and followed his diet. His specially prepared meat became known as Salisbury steak.