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NAMING OF FOOD. Foods are named primarily according to their origins. Foods from the plant kingdom usually have the same name as the plant, such as carrot, potato, peas, and spinach. Sometimes the name of the food is from the fruit (the seed-bearing part of the plant), such as apple, from apple trees, and raspberry from raspberry bushes.

Food from animals usually has the same name as the

animal: lamb, chicken, rabbit, quail, salmon, Dungeness crab,

snails. The exceptions are words such as calf and veal or pig and pork or sheep and mutton, where the former word is of Anglo Saxon origin and the latter of French origin. A few remnants of Anglo-Saxon names remain, as in ox- tail soup or pigs’ feet. The names of animal parts when cooked and eaten often refer to the common anatomical names, such as wing, breast, or leg of birds and rib and tongue of mammals. However, most cuts of meat have

their own special names: sirloin, strip steak, lamb chop. Ba-

con and ham denote that the meat is from a pig and that it is smoked. Innards like liver and kidneys are the same as the organ name. However, some interior parts have better-sounding food names, such as sweetbreads for pan- creas, tripe for the stomach of a ruminant, roe or caviar for

fish eggs, and mountain oysters for testicles.

Names of Dishes

Names for prepared foods follow several patterns. The commonest is a phrase with the main ingredients: chicken

almond, beef and mushrooms, creamed tuna casserole, or with

the cooking method as well as the food: poached eggs on

toast, pork and vegetable stir-fry.

Another common pattern is to name foods after places. The meaning only indicates an origin and/or style. Sometimes the meaning is transparent, as in Polish

sausage, Belgian waffle, or Spanish omelet, but often addi-

tional knowledge is required. Florentine (named for Flo- rence, Italy) is for dishes with spinach, Bolognese (from Bologna) is with a meat sauce, and Bologna is a sausage. Veal Milanese (Milan) or Wiener Schnitzel (Vienna) is breaded and fried veal cutlet. Provençal (Provence) means made with tomato, garlic and olive oil, and chicken Kiev is chicken breast wrapped around butter, breaded, and

fried, Salad Niçoise (Nice), Mongolian hot pot, Peking duck,

Buffalo wings, and baked Alaska are other examples.

Chicken Marengo was named in honor of Napoleon’s vic- tory at Marengo. Occasionally the name is misleading. French toast is an American dish, while homard à l’amer- icain ‘lobster American style’ is a French dish. French- fried potatoes are common in France under the name pommes frites ‘fried potatoes’.

A small number of words derived from place names have been resegmented and reanalyzed. Hamburger and Frankfurter were named after the German cities of Ham- burg and Frankfurt, and Wiener is from Wien, the Ger- man name for Vienna. Hamburger was resegmented as ham + burger, although the food is made with chopped beef. Burger became a combining form to be added to any food served with ground beef (cheeseburger, baconburger) or some meat instead of beef (chickenburger, fishburger), or for a particular style (California burger). Vegetarian versions

are veggie burgers or garden burgers. Subsequently, burger

has become an independent word. Frankfurter, often shortened to frank, has also become a combining form, yielding new words like turkeyfurter or turkeyfrank, with each part of the word combining with new parts. Hot dog, an informal term for frankfurters, has generated Tofu Pup, a vegetarian sausage. It also illustrates the trendiness of wordplay.

Some dishes are named after people, either for the inventor or in honor of some famous person. Sandwiches were invented by the Earl of Sandwich, and Beef Welling- ton honors the Duke of Wellington. Beef Stroganoff is a French dish created to honor the Russian diplomat Stro- ganov. Other examples are Oysters Rockefeller, Pavlova, a meringue dessert created to honor the dancer Anna Pav- lova, and the pastries named for Napoleon and Bismarck.

French has had an especially strong influence on English names for food and dishes. The phrase à la ap- pears in several dishes. One phrase taken from French is à la reine ‘to the queen’ or ‘in honor of the queen’ for creamed foods often served on a puffed pastry. This has led to à la king, a mixture of French and English that vi- olates French grammar, since “la” is the feminine defi- nite article, and king by virtue of its meaning would be masculine (if English still had grammatical gender in its definite articles). Other examples are riz à l’impératrice ‘rice pudding’ literally ‘to the empress’ and à la mode ‘with ice cream’ (literally ‘in the style’).

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