Often the food is as delicious as the name and it tells fabulous stories.
For example, the first Tandoor-like dish happened in China and was called Beggarâ€™s Chicken, and involved a beggar who had stolen a chicken and was ready to cook it in a fire when some strangers approached. The beggar hastily buried the chicken near the fire until the strangers left an hour later. When he dug it up it was featherless and delicious â€” the cooled clay had plucked the chicken and the meat was soft. Itâ€™s still a technique used in China today.
Names mean a lot to me and no nation in the world has funnier names for
really good food than England, where you have the 200-years-old Bubble and Squeak, the name derived from the sound it made once it was in your stomach.
The famous Eggs Benedict was made in the old Delmonico restaurant in Manhattan when Mr and Mrs LeGrand Benedict said that the menu was always the same. The chef poached eggs, put them in toasted breads with ham and hollandaise sauce and you have
The Lady Curzon Soup was named after Mary Leiter, the Chicago-born daughter of Levi Leiter, a partner of Marshall Field who in 1895 became the wife of Viceroy of India Lord Curzon. She is remembered not only for her â€œincomparable grace, courage and distinctionâ€, she is also known of the Lady Curzon Soup, which is a green turtle soup flavoured with curry with a touch of sherry. Remember Lady Curzon was one of the few Americans in a British Colony.
My favourite epicure was Lucullus, who lived from 110 to 56 BC, and gave dazzling parties everyday with numerous dishes. Until one day he ate alone and his staff gave him very
good food but there werenâ€™t outrageous numbers of dishes, and out raged he thundered, â€œDo you not comprehend that I am Lucullus and Lucullus is dining chez Lucullus?â€
Documents written by Michael Angelo artist, poet and wondrous Renaissance man showed that he was not as frugal in his eating as itâ€™s supposed. He had silverware, napery and dinnerware of extraordinary distinction and he had drawings on menus for helping new and not well educated help.
My favourite â€˜namingâ€™ is for the dish Imam Bayeldi, which means â€˜the priest faintedâ€™. Over to The New York Times Encyclopedia for the story, â€œOnce was an elderly priest- or imam as the Mohammedans call him, who married a wealthy olive oil merchantâ€™s daughter, the finest cook in the land. On her wedding day she received a dozen stone barrels of olive oil as a dowry. The day after the marriage she prepared a wholly irresistible dish of eggplant with tomatoes and the imam ate it with relish. It was so much to his taste, in fact, he asked her to prepare it every day. On the thirteenth day she served a quite different dish. When the imam asked her why, she replied that her dowry was depleted. There wasnâ€™t a drop left. He fainted.â€
In the civil war in America, the Southern troops on hearing Yankee soldiers nearby, would make a few patties of meat and throw them to their yelping dogs ordering them to â€œHush, Puppiesâ€. Today Hush, Puppies are made with cornmeal, flour, eggs and butter milk and are delicious Next time we will talk about Newberg or Wenberg, Recipe Grammar and Pasta politeness.