putting the tail before the bull

In Spanish it’s RABO de TORO estofado; in French it’s RAGOÛT de QUEUE de taureau. And in English it’s:

packaging labelled "tail's bull stew"

photos of food

Christmas lunch (detail)

Clearly the world is too much with me as this is the first post in a week and, like the last one, it is based on reality.

I’ve been wondering what has prompted this recent fixation with taking pictures of a meal before eating it.

Why, once a meal is on the table – particularly a special meal, where extra effort has been put into the preparation and a delay may have a more than usually detrimental effect – would anyone decide to dash off and find a camera to immortalise the moment?

I’ve seen it happen on a number of occasions recently, and each time the focus of the photograph has been the food rather than the people present.

When I cook, I’d rather the guests sat down and ate while the meal was hot and fresh, than spent so long admiring the visual effect that it all got cold. Maybe I’m just more of a gourmand than a gourmet.

what’s for dinner?

As a vegetarian, I’m used to seeing things on Spanish menus that really don’t appeal to me. Yesterday, though, I was particularly taken – or not – by the top two items on the meat section:

Carnes: secreto, lagarto, chuletillas, cochifrito...

Continue reading “what’s for dinner?”

more balls

Doing a bit of checking for yesterday’s piece about silver dragées for confectionery purposes, I came across a couple of things I found interesting.

First of all, in America, at least some of the confectionery suppliers such as shopbakersnook still use the word dragée. (Well, ok, without the accent.) That particular site sells “dragees for cakes and cookies” in a variety of colours, including pink, blue and white. I can see that they might think “blue dragees” sounds better than “blue balls”.
Continue reading “more balls”

the right word

Dr Oetker's silver balls
ballsing up the language
We were talking about traditional British celebratory cakes – proper rich fruit cakes with home-made almond paste, white royal icing and piped rosettes with silver dragées – and I was disappointed to find that confectionery suppliers in the UK are dumbing down: apparently they aren’t ‘dragées’ at all any more, but ‘silver balls’.

Why are we simplifying things when we have perfectly good and accurate words? A ‘silver ball’ could be any size and made of anything. A ‘silver dragée’ is far more precisely defined.
Continue reading “the right word”

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