When is cheese not cheese, or crab not crab? When it’s spelled cheez or krab or even ch’eese or cra’b… Novelty spellings for foods-that-aren’t-made-out-of-the-thing-they-sound-like-they’re-made-out-of go back a pretty long way - ‘cheez’ was THE cheese-like substance of the 1920s - but right now, with plant-based foods on the rise, we’re seeing more of them.
Branding consultant and name developer Nancy Friedman casts her expert glance over the apostrophes and deliberate misspellings on foodstuffs; and vegan restaurant owner Melanie Boudens recounts how, this summer, the words ‘cheddar cheese’ on her menu landed her in trouble.Read more
It’s Food Season at the Allusionist. Last episode we learned all about compiling recipes, turning food into words. This time, we meet someone who turns words into food. When Kate Young of the Little Library Cafe spots a foodstuff or a feast in a novel, she finds ways to cook it in reality, whether it’s delicious (Babette’s Feast), evil (Edmund’s Turkish delight in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) or poisonous (the crab and avocado in The Bell Jar).Read more
When recipe writing is done well, the skill and effort involved might not be evident. But explaining the different steps clearly so that people of varying culinary abilities and equipment can cook it, and indeed want to make it, and translating flavour and physical actions and sensory experiences into words - all that takes work.
Recipe writers MiMi Aye and Felicity Cloake and cookbook editor Rachel Greenhaus consider the verbal ingredients of a well-written recipe.Read more
"Really? As in the animal/foodstuff/music genre?"
"Is that a stripper name?"
"What were your parents thinking?"
What is the expression 'beyond the pale' on about? How do you express the absence of feeling? Does 'testify' have anything to do with testicles? Do avocados have anything to do with testicles? How does the phrase "It's all Greek to me" relate to food styling? Can you have a caper with capers? Are sharks misunderstood, etymologically and morally? And finally: where do allusions come from?Read more
Brunch. What does it actually mean?
Yeah yeah, it's breakfast + lunch, but in function or in form? And what does it have to do with Lewis Carroll?
- Here is the transcript of this episode.
- Want to know some more about the Rise of Brunch? Here you go.
- The origins of the name of the classic brunch dish Eggs Benedict are as clear as Hollandaise.
- Here's more about Lewis Carroll and his portmanteaus, and in case you're really hungry for arguments about semantics, here's Alice conversation with Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass.
- In several languages, oranges are called variations of 'Portugal'.
- Have any of you read Brunch: A History? I'm intrigued.
- A lot of people seem to really hate brunch. Portlandia's 'Brunch Village' episode was fiction though, right?
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
This episode is sponsored by Tasting Room and Squarespace.com. To order the Tasting Room starter pack of wine samples for the special price of $6.95, visit tastingroom.com/allusionist. For a 10% discount for a year on Squarespace.com using the code Allusion. Don't deny yourself!
Next episode will appear in a fortnight. Don't stay awake the whole time until then just to game the word 'breakfast'. You'll only be spiting yourself.
- This episode was produced by Anne Saini, Dan Pashman and me, and recorded at the Square Diner on Leonard St, NYC. They were very sporting about it.
- Hear Dan Pashman on WNYC's The Sporkful every week - thesporkful.com - and read his very funny and useful book Eat More Better. He is @TheSporkful on Twitter.
- As well as producing The Sporkful, Anne Saini has her own podcast, Mother. She is @CitySpoonful on Twitter.
- You can hear more of my conversation with Dan on this episode of The Sporkful. If you think he was going down some terrifying paths of logic about breakfast, wait till you hear his theories about fizzy water!
- All* the music in this episode is by Martin Austwick. Hear and/or download more at thesoundoftheladies.bandcamp.com.
* Aside from the songs playing in the background at the diner. I can make out 'Alone' by Heart and Maroon 5's 'Moves Like Jagger'. Shurrup, Maroon 5!
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.