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What's your latest food quest?

Food words, phrases and wonder where that one came from?

RShea78 Jan 18, 2007 07:16 PM

What I am looking for is perhaps little sayings or food whit or wisdom. Then if an origin can be found or your impression when you first heard it.

Like, "tooting beans" is generally obvious as to what comes into mind, but where did it come from?

Another one, "piping hot" I get visions of thick fat running through some pipe, in some submarine. Where did it come from?

  1. evans Jan 18, 2007 11:33 PM

    from my dictionary:

    piping hot (of food or water) very hot. [ORIGIN: piping, because of the sound made by live fowl or small mammals when introduced to roasting oven.]


    4 Replies
    1. re: evans
      bolivianita Jan 19, 2007 12:18 AM

      Thanks for the visual. I wonder what sound a lobster makes when you put it in the steamer?

      1. re: evans
        Das Ubergeek Jan 20, 2007 08:57 PM

        I dispute your dictionary -- nobody puts live fowl in a roasting oven, the smell of the feathers would ruin the meat (and anything else cooking in the oven), it would be so tough you wouldn't be able to cut it, and there's no way you could pluck a live bird without some serious damage to yourself (even if you plugged its beak, in which case it would no longer be able to pipe).

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          Gary Soup Jan 22, 2007 03:46 PM

          Well, how about the "four and twenty blackbirds baked into a pie?"

        2. re: evans
          Ernie Diamond Jan 22, 2007 03:33 PM

          You may be thinking of the term, "Flapping around wildly inside the bread oven, I think this is the last time we try this stupid idea" hot.

          I mix those two up all the time.

        3. p
          pgym Jan 19, 2007 12:58 AM

          You're kidding abot the dictionary, right? Because if you're not kidding, you need to get a REAL dictionary.

          From the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictonary, Vol I, Oxford Univ. Press, 1971:

          "Piping, ppl.a. [f. pipe v. + -ing]...
          3. quasi-adv. in phr. piping hot, so hot as to make a piping or hissing
          sound, as a simmering liquid, or a dish freshly cooked; hissing hot;
          hence gen. very hot."

          The earliest citation is Chaucer, 1386, from the Miller's Tale, "Wafres
          piping hoot out of the gleede."

          See also:





          1 Reply
          1. re: pgym
            hotoynoodle Jan 20, 2007 08:36 PM

            maybe piping plovers made that sound, before they were too endangered to eat? ;)

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