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Flexibility of food names

I've seen a number of posts related to sushi and thoughts of what should and should not be called sushi. I don't have nearly the emotional response to that - however when I hear terms such as "black bean humus", I bristle.

Humus (in Arabic) means chickpea, and in most humus places it is possible (and common) to order humus (the spread) with humus (the whole chickpea). Therefore the idea of humus made without chickpeas is no longer humus to me. I get the idea that the word brings to mind a "creamy spread" - but personally the expansion of the word doesn't work for me. In my world there will never be a white bean walnut humus. (Not that it can't be a tasty/yummy spread - but I won't call it humus)

What are the food terms where you hold onto the traditional definition of the word? Which ones are you less possesive of?

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  1. Using houmous as the example, I think it's simply menu shorthand describing a dish in a way that customers will readily understand. Most folk will know what houmous is, so to describe something as a "black bean houmous" is easier than describing it as a "black bean dip, similar in texture and seasoning to houmous"

    That said, folk who call a dish using beef "shepherd's pie" deserve to be taken down a dark alley and be given a good talking to . Or maybe worse. ;-)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      which is nearly as bad as using lamb in 'squab pie', or bangers in place of toads

      1. re: Harters

        I've had vegetarian shepherd's pie & vegetarian steak & kidney pie. At that point in time, the names is more of a distraction.

        1. re: Kalivs

          Given the American inclination to label any casserole with a mash potato topping, a shepherd's pie, it's not surprising that places make a vegetarian shepherds pie. TVP or even vegetarian chili would work as the base.

          It's harder to imagine what might be in 'vegetarian steak and kidney pie'. The only vegetarian thing that I've had that comes close to kidney in texture is Chinese gluten products (mock duck, etc).

        2. re: Harters

          I forgive myself for calling it shepherds' pie because I reckon the shepherd "borrowed" one of his neighbour's cows to make it rather than slaughter one of his own sheep.

        3. What if it is Humus (the spread) made with Humus (the bean) with additional Black Beans ?

          I think that Humus (spread) has become the generic term for a class of spread made with beans (different from a white beans dip).

          The same thing with Pesto (which is basically a "paste"), but "purists" will tell you that it is only made with such and such ingredients.

          Same thing with "Sushi" ... which as become a generic term for whatever is "rolled" (for the sake of simplicity) in nori with rice.

          Personally, I don't really care; as long as it tastes good, I'm ok with that.

          Max.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Maximilien

            To me, if the spread was made with both chickpeas and blackbeans - I would be fine with that being called humus, as nontraditional as it would be. Chickpea just needs to be a significant component of the spread (by my definition).

          2. Im guilty of bastardizing quite a few food terms I must admit. The one that gets on my nerves is confit. ITS NOT POSSIBLE TO MAKE GARLIC CONFIT OR TOMATO CONFIT ETC ETC SO JUST STOP IT ALREADY. Ok, glad I got that off my chest. I realize that the meaning of the word has slowly changed, but to me a confit has to be cooked in its OWN fat.

            15 Replies
            1. re: twyst

              That is not true.
              You can make Confit of virtually anything. The word means to Preserve.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confit
              I French you need to say what kind of Confit you are talking about Ie: Confit de Canard, Confit de Tomates,Confit d'échalotes. You can also in other things than fats, Confit au Vinaigre, Sugar or Honey

              1. re: chefj

                I don't have a good culinary source with me right now but I have to agree that the proper use of confit is to cook a meat in its own fat. Now over time that may have changed but I think those changed are a in conflict with the original meaning (the topic of the thread).

                1. re: thimes

                  You can agree all you want, but it doesn't make it so. Just think of "confiture," which is fruit preserves. To confit something is to preserve it.

                  1. re: PSZaas

                    The OED dictionary defines it as cooking meat slowly in its own fat, but also as coming from the French ‘conserved’, from confire ‘ to prepare’.

                      1. re: chefj

                        yeah, I'd posted it prior to that reply, but it's good to see people agree :)

                    1. re: PSZaas

                      Hmmm. Good point. I'm hanging my coat on the "not a French culinary language historian" on this one and bowing out.

                    2. re: thimes

                      Actually the opposite has happened. The word started off simply meaning "preserved" in any way, salt, fat, sugar, vinegar and has narrowed over the centuries.

                  2. re: twyst

                    if that's the case, you have a big job ahead of you, taking on half the prepared-foods industry in France.

                    The word "confit" is used to describe pretty much anything preserved -- and it's their word, so I reckon they're the ones who know how to use it.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      "if that's the case, you have a big job ahead of you, taking on half the prepared-foods industry in France.

                      The word "confit" is used to describe pretty much anything preserved -- and it's their word, so I reckon they're the ones who know how to use it."

                      While I agree that confit is used to describe everything now, unless I am greatly mistaken this has not always been the case. Cooking bibles like escoffier and larousse only contain recipes for confit that is cooked in its own fat, and its also how it is taught in CIA and le cordon Bleu curriculums.

                      1. re: twyst

                        Sorry to disagree,older editions in English,pre 90's and all of mine in French of Escoffier , Larousse and Le Cordon Bleu spanning decades use "confit",treat the word in proper French.

                        1. re: lcool

                          Then I shall defer to you as my newer versions only list duck and goose confit.

                          1. re: twyst

                            Interesting,my 2006 and 2008 editions of garde manger & professional chef add,one for salmon and one for pork.Using a phase ,meat,traditionally goose or duck,to include X,as above.

                            1. re: lcool

                              They are American Books and it is a French technique and word.

                              1. re: chefj

                                going back up to twyst's post above and mine I was remarking about the inconstant,fickle differences between two modern US editions,not about older US or French books discussed above that.

                  3. I am fairly pissy about it,it is a long list.Just a few here.
                    Fajita........is a charted,butcher cut of BEEF.....skirt steak
                    London Broil .....is a recipe.....NOT a cut of beef
                    Sushi ..... is rice

                    At my age I've seen the marketing gimmick bastardization of much.As globalization continues to play a larger and larger role,with every manner of ingredient and culture cross pollinating I think to expect more and get used to it,as long as AVA's,DOCG's and other historic heritage designations are respected totally.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lcool

                      'fajita' is a little strip (diminutive of faja).

                      But it is a good example of the evolution of a name, from a regional use of beef trimmings (e.g. skirt) to something that is common in restaurants around the country

                      http://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2...

                      The first time I had it was at a catered conference meal in Austin in the mid 1980s. There is was the whole grilled piece of meat (I can't guaranteed that they used skirt or not), sliced thin, and served with tortillas and the fixings. Strips of beef (much less other meats) grilled and served on a hot skillet is definitely an evolution from that.

                      1. re: paulj

                        Like nearly everything listed in this thread,we just have to get used to it.

                    2. I had an almost-visceral reaction last year when someone posted a question about "Meat Hamentaschen." Now, I don't have a problem with someone calling latkes "potato pancakes." Chopped liver? Call it that, or call it chicken liver pate. Hell, call it Gehatke Leiber, if you want to. But Meat Hamentaschen? No, no no. That's just WRONG. So wrong it can never be made right. :)

                      9 Replies
                        1. re: mamachef

                          Now I want to eat Hamentashen.

                          1. re: mamachef

                            Why would there even conceivably be a problem with calling "potato pancakes" "potato pancakes?" I accept that some people call them "latkes." :)

                            1. re: Wawsanham

                              No. They're called Kartoffelpuffer.

                              1. re: Wawsanham

                                I said I didn't have a problem with it, but some people do. Different strokes. Peace.

                                  1. re: Wawsanham

                                    You mean nobody's mentioned Rösti yet?

                                1. "Martini" tends to set me off if the drink in question contains neither gin nor vermouth

                                  21 Replies
                                  1. re: redfish62

                                    Absolutely. And if you're afraid of how booze tastes you shouldn't be drinking in the first place.

                                    1. re: redfish62

                                      I can allow for vodka in a martini (James Bond does...) but apple, watermelon, chocolate? No, those are not martinis. They are frilly girl drinks served in a martini glass.

                                      1. re: iluvcookies

                                        James Bond raising an apple or watermelon "martini" to his lips. Could you imagine?

                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                          I can picture Connery's Bond looking at the drink with it's sugary rim, pulling out his Walther PPK and pointing it at the bartender. "What is the meaning of this? Did Blofeld put you up to this?"

                                            1. re: iluvcookies

                                              Isn't, technically, the way Bond orders his martinis, wrong? I mean, they're not as good shaken, right? Because of the ice dilution?

                                              Anyway, though I DID once start a whole thread about it, I love love love girly fruity cocktails and I love them with plenty of alcohol. One doesn't necessarily preclude the other!

                                            2. re: Chinon00

                                              "An Apple-choco-tini. Shaken, not stirred."
                                              I dunno. That seems to have a nice, suave ring to it, does it not? :D

                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                    Yes, that's more appropriate. Moneypenny could probably hold her own against 007.

                                                    1. re: iluvcookies

                                                      "Moneypenny could probably hold her own against 007."

                                                      And often very much wanted to. ;-)

                                              1. re: iluvcookies

                                                That was the start of the slippery slope.

                                                1. re: iluvcookies

                                                  Yeah - putting something in a martini glass does not make it a martini. I would define a classic martini as either gin or vodka, plus vermouth, and possibly an olive. I'll even allow for some alternate garnishes. But if you put put mango flavoured vodka, peach schnapps and a lemon candy in a martini glass, you've created a new drink.

                                                  On the other extreme - if you skip the garnish, and make it so dry that there's no vermouth in it, you're not drinking a martini - you're drinking vodka/gin out of a martini glass.

                                                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                    A bartender where I worked used to make those straight-up gin or vodka versions whenever anyone asked for a very very very very dry martini. :)

                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                      Same here! They made a great martini.... for those that actually liked martinis.

                                                    2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                      Exactly. Although a lemon twist is also an acceptable garnish.

                                                  2. re: redfish62

                                                    This is my biggest word pet peeve. I can deal with vodka martinis, and even dirty martinis. But as a martini lover (both gin and vodka) I can't deal with fruity drinks being called martinis.

                                                    1. Pesto made without basil as the primary green. To my mind, that's just not pesto.

                                                      Vegetarian "chili" is another.

                                                      16 Replies
                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                        Funny. I made a fab parsley-pecorino-pistachio pesto once for a pasta dish. Mostly for alliteration purposes, of course.

                                                        Tasty, too.

                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                          pesto just means paste -- as with "confit" above, you're going to have to take on half of Italy to win that battle.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            That is what I was going to say. However, if you don't clarify in English I will assume the flavors to be basil and pine but. All other variations should be qualified in some way.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              De jure, that is correct. De facto, pesto is taken to mean an uncooked pasta sauce made from basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and a hard Italian cheese.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  And what do Italians call what we Yanks term pesto? IIRC, when I was in Venice I ordered gnocchi a la pesto and received exactly what I would get if I ordered it in New York or Cleveland.

                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                    Basil pesto is generally referred to as pesto genovese, as it originates in Genoa (although it apparently has roots in North Africa and India).

                                                                    The more you know.... cue rainbow.

                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                    But English is the only language we know, and the only language that matters '-)

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      It is the closest thing the human race has to a lingua franca. Much to the chagrin of the French. ;)

                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                        no chagrin on my part - I'm not French.

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                          I actually surmised as much. Your English is too, too good.

                                                                2. re: sunshine842

                                                                  Actually, pesto is "the contracted past participle of the Genoese word pestâ (Italian: pestare), which means to pound, to crush".

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      Yes. Technically, "pesto" only applies to something that has been pounded or ground into a paste, as with a mortar and pestle. Italian has other words for a paste that results from mixing things together: impasto and, sometimes, pasta, which, as we use the term in English, is just flour and water mixed to form a dough or paste, then shaped and cooked.

                                                                      We need to be cautious when we rely on etymology to tell us how a word can be used, as over time, or in a particular context, the word may have taken on a different or a more restricted meaning, as is the case with "pesto." Likewise, in the discussion about "confit" earlier in this thread, it's worth pointing out that the words "confection" and "confectionery" both come from the same Latin root words as "confit": cum (= with) and facere (=to do or to make). Nonetheless, despite the common derivation, they can't be used interchangeably. We don't call duck parts preserved in duck fat a confection, nor do we refer to a box of bonbons as a confit.

                                                                      The interesting question for me is how far we can deviate from what we understand the standard definition of a word to be and still be able to use that word. In the case of pesto, I would have no problem substituting cilantro for the classic basil and walnuts for pine nuts and still calling the result "pesto." That is probably because I haven't violated the basic formula of fresh green herb + nuts + garlic + cheese + oil. However, if I decided to pound some cannellini beans and garlic into a paste, I would hesitate to call that "pesto," since, to my mind, it diverges too much from how I would normally use that word.

                                                                      1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                        I bought a few jars of a walnut pesto that is to die for.

                                                                        But you're right -- beans then makes it too far out of the 'circle".

                                                                        1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                          Well, then you could call it hummus - but I guess it would be my job to complain :)

                                                                          Traditionally, hummus is made by pounding the ingredients with these very large mortar and pestles.

                                                                  1. Osso Buco is one of mine.

                                                                    It is (of course in my opinion) by definition braised shank - thus the literal "bone hole" translation. If it doesn't have the bone, or the "hole" and marrow then how is it Osso Buco. If it is just braised meat, then it is just braised meat not Osso Buco.

                                                                    1. My bete noir is Marinara Sauce. Not gravy. A true Marinara Sauce consists of:
                                                                      Tomatoes
                                                                      Garlic
                                                                      Olive Oil
                                                                      Sea Salt & Black Pepper
                                                                      Fresh Basil
                                                                      Pecorino Romano Cheese
                                                                      Period. No carrots, no onion, no sugar, no nuttin' else.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        Oh, but what type and consistaqncy of the toh-moh-toes?

                                                                        Canned?
                                                                        Fresh? If fresh, I assmue plumb/romas?
                                                                        San Marzanos?
                                                                        If san marzanos, Cali or Italian?
                                                                        If whole canned, crushed by hand? Or food mill? Or something else?

                                                                        Lots of "if's" and "ism's " in what you typed Mssr/Madame/Mlle Gio.

                                                                        LOTS of if's and ism's.

                                                                        LOL

                                                                        1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                          "Canned?"
                                                                          Can be... LOL

                                                                          "Fresh? If fresh, I assmue plumb/romas?"
                                                                          Can be plums. Can be Romas. Can be 'other' also.

                                                                          "San Marzanos?"
                                                                          Can be, though I don't like them.

                                                                          "If san marzanos, Cali or Italian?"
                                                                          Italiano first, California if necessary. Or do you mean Cali, Colombia?

                                                                          "If whole canned, crushed by hand?"
                                                                          Can be

                                                                          "Or food mill?"
                                                                          Can be

                                                                          "Or something else?"
                                                                          What else ya got?

                                                                          "Lots of "if's" and "ism's " in what you typed Mssr/Madame/Mlle Gio."

                                                                          Signed, Senora Gio

                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                          True, marinara sauce is not gravy. Neither is Italian tomato sauce containing meat. Gravy is a relatively small amount of meaty sauce made from the drippings/fond of cooked meat, thickened with a starch and slightly extended via addition of an alcoholic beverage and/or dairy in liquid form. Rarely, another liquid like coffee or fruit juice may be involved, but no tomato and not in a large volume relative to the amount meat it accompanies.;-) Sort of kidding, but after moving to MA from my native Long Island, and also having lived in western NY, I had NO idea why my coworker said she was making what I understood to be spaghetti covered in turey gravy for Christmas. I will never use the term "gravy" in reference to pasta sauce.

                                                                          But I certainly recognize that there are cultural and ethnic influences on food names and that often, the incorrect term is a useful shorthand explaining what the preparation is like, e.g. watermelon carpaccio. This is going to be thinly sliced, and covered with some sort of transparent, pourable dressing or marinade.

                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                            http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodmeats...

                                                                            "In French meat cookery, jus is roughly equivalent to honestly made thin gravy in the British tradition"
                                                                            Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson

                                                                            but in Italian-American tradition ...

                                                                          1. re: beevod

                                                                            if you call it fromage de tete, it sounds better.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              I believe it is translated as "Tête Fromagée" ?

                                                                              1. re: Maximilien

                                                                                No. It's Fromage de Tête. Cheese from the head (loosely, "headcheese") -- not cheesed head, which is what you wrote.

                                                                                Neither one of them are cheese, really.

                                                                          2. "Bacon" and "burger". If you have to qualify it with "veggie", "turkey" or any other word, I don't want it. Also "Slider" - a restaurant near me serves chicken cordon bleu sliders. That's not a slider! A slider is a gross/delicious little burger! Also restaurants take great liberties with the word "butter". If it's margarine or spread, you shouldn't be allowed to put "butter" on the menu.

                                                                            But then again if I mention "champagne" and someone pipes up with the "sparkling wine" factoid, it drives me nuts. I try to keep my little neuroses to myself.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                              We didn't keep full Kosher when I was growing up, but butter was never on the table due to some neurosis about the milk/meat combo. So, if you asked for butter? Wasn't going to be passed until you asked for the margarine.

                                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                I specifically think of a slider as a White Castle burger.

                                                                              2. How about fish names. Going from "Dolphin" to "Mahi" was somewhat understandable because a lot of people don't know the difference between a mammal and a fish, but why did we go from "Yellowfin Tuna" to "Ahi Tuna"?

                                                                                "Yellowfin Tuna" is a perfectly good name.

                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                1. re: redfish62

                                                                                  Those are just the Hawaiian names.
                                                                                  There are many others for both of those fish.

                                                                                  1. re: chefj

                                                                                    This was my general understanding as well. In Hawaii, tuna is referred to as ahi and generally refers to bigeye tuna. However, as bigeye and yellowfin are fairly similar, on the mainland they have come to be used interchangeably.

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      I've seen it mostly as Ahi here in the southeast ever since the seared tuna with sesame seeds dish became popular, back when it was mostly eaten in the form of a grilled steak it was Yellowfin.

                                                                                      Now even the frozen Yellowfin is often referred to as Ahi.

                                                                                      Have no idea what Hawaii has to do with the southest.

                                                                                      1. re: redfish62

                                                                                        I started using mahi instead of dolphin about the time I got sick and tired of explaining No, it's not flipper - IT'S A FISH.

                                                                                        Even in Florida, where mahi run thick all the way around the coastline and contribute a not-insignificant amount to the state economy (charters, table), people think you're eating the mammal if you say "dolphin".

                                                                                        There are a few folks in the Keys who say dolphin and know it means fish...but they're a minority.

                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                          We had the same problem in New England and the Mid Atlantic.

                                                                                        2. re: redfish62

                                                                                          The consumption of raw and seared tuna is very popular in Hawaii and from my understanding has only recently become popular here among the general public. As such, the use of ahi as used in Hawaii has been adopted even if the tuna used in a dish is yellowfin and not bigeye tuna.

                                                                                    2. re: redfish62

                                                                                      Dolphin is mahi????? Really? People eat dolphin??? Damn. I mean, I'm a hard core carnivore and have eaten my share of fuzzy wuzzy lambs, but dolphin...I couldn't do it.

                                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                                        Yes, to all of the above.

                                                                                        There's a saltwater pelagic species called a dolphin -- it's most assuredly a fish (a beautiful turquoise, emerald and gold one, no less) and it absolutely good eating. Folks in the Florida Keys call it dolphin.

                                                                                        The name was adapted to mahi-mahi (the Hawaiian name) to keep people from being labeled horrible evil bastards by people who didn't realize that dolphin fish isn't Flipper.

                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin_...

                                                                                        but yes, some Asian cultures still eat dolphin, the mammal version. It's illegal most other places.

                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                          You learn something new, etc., etc.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            Speaking of mahi-mahi, why have people dropped the second "mahi" in the last several years? I frequently see and hear about "mahi" now.

                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                              I can imagine several reasons:

                                                                                              'mahi' doesn't mean anything else in English, so there is no confusion if the 2nd word is dropped

                                                                                              the repetition does not mean anything in English. If anything it sounds childish.

                                                                                              I see on Wiki that it means 'very strong'. If so, may be the repetition is the Hawaiian equivalent to 'very', an intensifier. But grammatical features like this seldom carry over from one language to another. Consider for example the confusion of Italian plurals.

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  There may also be influence from "ahi", discussed just above. In the opposite direction, there are people who say "ahi-ahi", haha hihi.

                                                                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                    Ahi is another interesting word. It's the Hawaiian name for albacore. Great marketing scheme to differentiate it from the albacore we all know and love from the can.

                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                      I do not think that is true.
                                                                                                      Ahi refers to either Thunnus Albacares or Thunnus Obesus
                                                                                                      The Canned Tuna marked as Albacore is Thunnus Alalunga

                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          That PDF is a fact sheet for "_tombo_ ahi". The "tombo" part of the name is Japanese, while "ahi" is used here as a generic term for "tuna". The name "ahi" by itself has a more specific meaning. From the same website:

                                                                                                          "In Hawaii, 'Ahi' refers to two species, the Bigeye Tuna and the Yellowfin Tuna."
                                                                                                          http://www.hawaii-seafood.org/wild-ha...

                                                                                                          In other words: what chefj said.

                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                              Agreed. The word "sammie" makes my skin crawl. I'm also not fond of menus playfully using "Sammich", but nothing is as bad as "sammies".

                                                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                Brekkies is a close second in the skin-crawling department. If you tell me you had brekkies while having a convo on your vacay I will probably toss my sammies.

                                                                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                    I had to look that up. If someone said that to me, I would be so tempted to slap them upside the head. It's worse than people who use the term "besties" to describe their best friend. I know it isn't food related, but it's such a similar term and so annoying.

                                                                                                  2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                    Gee, Nonnie, that word never makes my skin crawl...

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                  3. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                    Veggies. I don't know why but I find the word very irritating.

                                                                                                    1. re: sr44

                                                                                                      Really?! So what do you say instead? Do you say "vegetables", or are you always specific?

                                                                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                      I think I threw up in my mouth a little! That word and Sliders. Horrible!

                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                        I don't see any parallel between the error in talking about 'black bean hummus' and the use of 'sammies'. The complaint about misapplying 'hummus' is half way original. The complaint about using 'sammies' is old and shop worn.

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                          Guess you cant control where these conversations lead. Take a deep breath and let it go

                                                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                          In MA, I sometimes hear "sang-gwitch". Don't know which witch is "wurst".

                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                            you hear sangwitch in the Latin communities in Florida, too -- I consider that an ethnic variation, not an abomination.

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                Interesting - I heard it first from an equal-opportunity bigoted coworker, a white man of Irish descent.

                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                              Ugh. Sammy, sammich, samwhich and all other similar terms are like nails on a chalk board to me.

                                                                                                            2. I don't mind it if an appropriate description is made next to the name if it's not the original meaning!

                                                                                                              Black Bean Hummus ok, serve me black bean hummus is only hummus is listed on the menu, there I might have a problem! Same with pesto, i love sundried tomato pesto, but don't sell me on a classic basil pesto to then serve the sundried tomato one!

                                                                                                                1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                  LOL

                                                                                                                  just try ordering a "panino" and see the looks you get ;)

                                                                                                                  1. re: thimes

                                                                                                                    They'll get their paninis in a wad.

                                                                                                                  2. And of course subs, grinders, hoagies, and wedges.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                      Not to mention heroes and torpedos.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                        Around here it used to be Submarine Sandwiches...

                                                                                                                      2. I more often than not get the hairy eyeball when I order a Yee-roe (vs JYE-roe)

                                                                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: JenJeninCT

                                                                                                                          But you are correct, I get the same ) - :

                                                                                                                          1. re: chefj

                                                                                                                            There's a restaurant in town named Spiro Gyro. The locals pronounce it 'spy-ro jie-ro', but I like the way my New Yorker hubby says 'spee-rro yheerro'

                                                                                                                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                              I'd pronounce it the same way as your husband.... and most likely cringe at the local pronunciation. Then again, my college was in the next town over from one called Buena Vista that was pronounced Byoo-na Vista.... shudder.

                                                                                                                              1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                Aah, pronunciation pedantry.Now we're talkin my language!
                                                                                                                                According to every server I can remember, 'brooshetta' is a popular bread-based snack in the Antipodes...

                                                                                                                                1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                  Must have been near Buchanan pronounced Buck-han-nin...

                                                                                                                            2. re: JenJeninCT

                                                                                                                              I used to wait tables in a restaurant owned by a Greek guy. One day soon after I started, he heard me call it a gyro (like in gyroscope or gyrocopter) he walked over to me, gently squeezed my cheeks (the ones on my face ;) )and said "yee-ro, yee-ro, yee-ro", much to the amusement of the rest of the staff.

                                                                                                                              I've never said it any other say since.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                I still call it a gy-ro out of sheer stubbornness. If they want me to call it a yee-ro they have to change the spelling.

                                                                                                                                1. re: redfish62

                                                                                                                                  actually, if you listen very carefully to the pronunciation from a native speaker, the G is there -- but a soft g, like in guppy or golf.

                                                                                                                                  I made him laugh by trying to combine the soft g with the rolled r like he pronounced it, so he declared my "yeero" close enough.

                                                                                                                              2. re: JenJeninCT

                                                                                                                                I order it that way as well. I often say How-da instead of goo-da for Gouda and have had people correct me.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                  I say it that way too, and right or wrong (since there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer) I think it's pretty well ingrained by now.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                    Me too - ever since I visited Gouda 35+ years back. Easy way round pronunciation issues- just buy the tastier Dutch cheeses, like Leerdammer, instead of Gouda or Edam. .

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                      My Dutch friend tells me that very little cheese is being made in the town of Gouda these days as it has become pretty much a residential suburb, and that the actual cheese is being made farther away from the developed areas in smaller towns with different names. Still being called Gouda cheese, though.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                        Wiki turns up an interesting Gouda fact. In that Gouda is in the province of South Holland - but it is a North Holland Gouda that has European Union PGS status.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                          Funny thing, I have never had any Gouda I though very much of. For that style of cheese, I prefer the hard Swiss cheeses like Emmenthal and the like. Actually, I really like low-fat Emmenthal and Jarlsberg.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                            Me too. I find most Dutch cheeses bland and boring, even they well matured ones. Fine for breakfast but, even then, I prefer a more Emmenthal style, like Leerdammer, to the common ones like Edam and Gouda.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                              What is this Edam you speak of? We call that cheese queso de bola. It's considered a necessity for a well-appointed Christmas table and at that time of year can command a price suitable for hostess gift-giving.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                Edam is the other main cheese produced in the Netherlands. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edam_(ch.... In its usual state, it is pretty much identical to Gouda

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                Have you never tried an aged Gouda? I'm talking about one that has been aged at least two years (and up to five years). Full of luscious toffee and butterscotch flavors and the antithesis of bland and boring. I have to agree with you about Edam, though.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I've tried aged Gouda - usually in the form of Old Amsterdam but, also, in the occasional farm cheese.

                                                                                                                                2. There's a fine line between being accurate to the meaning of something, and acknowleging that that name used in a new linguistic context (ie. another language) is not the same name as in the original language. Perhaps, in American English, "hummus" just is starting to mean "spread." Maybe the solution would be to promote the use of the word "spread" instead of "hummus" altogether.
                                                                                                                                  The same holds for other words like "panini, fajita, sushi" etc... Those words are not being used in their languages of origin; therefore, there is no need to adhere to the rules of those languages.

                                                                                                                                  29 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                    The voice of reason and rationality! Too bad it'll never catch on.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                        Good point - just made me want to through "chips" into the mix - a la "Fish and Chips".

                                                                                                                                        Chips are "french fries", when did we decide to change it to mean thin crispy potato chips. There is an English to English difference.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: thimes

                                                                                                                                            Chips are chips. French fries are what Americans call those thin chip like things they eat. Different thing altogether.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                              Crisps are what the British call chips, and chips are fries, and biscuits are cookies, and birds are chicks.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                and Harters and his cohorts call thin crispy potato chips "crisps", not chips, unless I am horribly, horribly mistaken.

                                                                                                                                                Crossed the stream with redfish.

                                                                                                                                                and scones are biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                  Somewhere, back in the mists of time (about a year ago), there was a very long thread comparing British English and American English. I was surprised just how different it was just keeping on food - I'm gobsmacked we are able to understand each other. And that was without getting into the further differencs in Australian and New Zealand English.

                                                                                                                                                  By the by, birds are creatures which fly. They havnt been girls/women since the 1960s (except in Austin Powers films, which is pretty much the same thing)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                    I had a friend from Rotherham in the early 90s who called women birds -- we let him slide because he was a gentleman in every other aspect

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                      Ahh. Rotherham, eh?

                                                                                                                                                      Explains all :-0

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        that's why I put it in there -- just for you!

                                                                                                                                                        He's actually a really great guy - one of the ones I'm sorry to have lost track of over the years. (and he has an aggravatingly common name, so Googling turns up several million people more than I'm going to page through one at a time)

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                      "I'm gobsmacked we are able to understand each other."

                                                                                                                                                      Illustrating your point, we Americans are not "gobsmacked." We may be dumbfounded or flabbergasted, but we're not gobsmacked!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                                        To me gobsmacked sounds like what happens when you are walking on the beach and a flock of seagulls happens to pass overhead.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: redfish62

                                                                                                                                                          Whereas it actually suggests that you have been made speechless by being smacked in the mouth.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                            which I *hope* never happens with a seagull...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                              There's a tiny island off the north east coast of England which is a bird sanctuary. You can visit at certain times of the year. We did - and a particular species was nesting all over the island. They were only quite tiny birds but fiercely defended the area round the nest - attacking humans by diving to our heads and pecking us (and crapping on us as well, although that bit probably was not deliberate)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                lolz -- quite tiny, very defensive -- are they a typical woodland species?

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: redfish62

                                                                                                                                                            Wasn't there some confection (or was it confit?) called Everlasting Gobsmackers?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                              Everlasting Gobstoppers... it was a Wonka brand (here in the US anyway)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, indeed they were fantabulous! Do they no longer exist?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  I just googled and it seems they do still exist. I haven't seen them much lately though.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                                                                                                    I remember many a choking incident when I would inhale them a bit too quickly in the car.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                      I guess your gob got stopped. Really not a joking matter, though.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                        Yea, many a scary moment but they always came back up. I also had a general jawbreaker love. My grandmother had a booth at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and there was this fabulous candy shop with humongous jawbreakers. I would stock up and suck on them all day, but had to be very careful when they got just the right size to fit down my trachea. Very fortunate, that there were no unfortunate accidents.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                                              some of us are...but then, I'm the weird one out on that one. Because I used to work extensively with UK companies, I taught myself UK spelling and grammar, and watched a lot of British television so I'd be up on the pop culture and not talk or feel like such an alien during my frequent visits. As such, my spelling is now horrendous, and my vocabulary is a bizarre mashup of the two.

                                                                                                                                                              now that I've added French to the mix, it's even worse!

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                              Us Canadians have some differences too...

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                                        In general, I completely agree with what you're saying. My post isn't about a call to arms to bring people to task for misusing humus or martini. But rather, I think the greater trend is that all of us have food and terms that we are more connected to and thus less flexible on the globalization of the concept.

                                                                                                                                                        For one person a duck gyro might be a celebration of culinary innovation and for another it's a perversion of a tradition. That's what I was most interested in.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                          I'm sure many of us got your original intent. These posts just take on a life of their own. If you just read the primary posts you still get the intent without all the huffing and puffing. ;)

                                                                                                                                                      3. The Wiki article claims (with citations) that the full name is

                                                                                                                                                        ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna, which means "chickpeas with tahini".

                                                                                                                                                        Why do you oppose changing the 'chickpea' part but ok with dropping the tahini part?

                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                          Today I bought a can of Israeli tahina and after getting read the ingredients listing chickpeas. Now I am worried I have hummus bi tahina instead of what I wanted. Nomenclature is confusing and labeling is even more confusing.

                                                                                                                                                          I have to look very carefully to ensure my tomato sauce in a can doesn't contain peppers because I despise peppers in my red sauce.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                            I've noticed more and more that canned tomatoes contain seasonings... basil, "italian seasoning", garlic and oil. All I want are plain tomatoes in their juice please!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                                                                                                              Yes! Have to look closely to see what you get.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                              In Israel/Hebrew, hummus is almost never called "hummus bi tahina" (which in Hebrew would translate to 'chickpeas in tahina' and linguistically would bring to mind whole chickpeas floating in tahina).

                                                                                                                                                              What brand of tahina is it?

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                              In the Middle East, it is extremely rare to see the full name listed. While "hummus with hummus" would be ordered, hummus with tahini with hummus (or fava beans, or meat, or pine nuts) would not be the ordered.

                                                                                                                                                              Ultimately my point was that (to me and my fussiness) the product known in the Western world as humus requires the inclusion of chickpeas.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                On the other hand, if an English-language menu offered "hummus" or said that such-and-such was "served with hummus" and it turned out to be whole, cooked chickpeas, you'd have a lot of disappointed and annoyed customers. It's nice to know what the word "hummus" means in Arabic, but that information will not help you use it successfully in English.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                  In an Arabic or Hebrew speaking community, if a menu said "hummus" (in either language) and you just got whole chickpeas, native Arabic and Hebrew speakers would be equally disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                    That would mean that in those languages the word "hummus" also refers in most situations specifically to a dip/spread/puree. So you can't really blame English speakers for taking that idea and running with it and extending it to similar recipes…

                                                                                                                                                                    After all, we already have a word for "chickpea": it's "garbanzo". :D

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                      To explain in full (though I get the impression you're just playing devil's advocate) - if a dish was listed with a set of ingredients that included "humus" - then it would be referring to the chickpeas. However, if there was a restaurant item listed as "humus" on its own, then it would refer to the spread. It's about context.

                                                                                                                                                                      Regardless, I'm sure for another person it's not humus if there's no tahini (and I know others that feel that humus served without olive oil on top remains "unfinished"). To each their own. This is just mine.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                        If I wanted to play devil's advocate, I might say that vinegar, based on the French origin of the word, can only be made from wine. In my world there will never be "cider vinegar" or "malt vinegar". Also, in my world mincemeat pies must contain minced meat, because that's how it was historically and because it's right there in the *bleeping* name of the thing, duh. If you're not going to respect the origins and the true meanings of words, at least have the decency to translate them into Arabic or something.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                          As you say, DD, mince pies used to contain minced meat. However, in the UK, that practice seems to have died out in the early 19th century. Modern pies though are still generally unsuitable for vegetarians as they retain "meat" in the form of suet.

                                                                                                                                                            4. Turkey - what does that American bird have to do with the country?

                                                                                                                                                              is it filled with 'stuffing' or 'dressing'?

                                                                                                                                                              sweet potato - it isn't a potato, and not always that sweet. Nor is a true yam

                                                                                                                                                              how is a pumpkin different from a squash?

                                                                                                                                                              why isn't it green bean pod casserole?

                                                                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                The turkey bird was around long before the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. Good question, though. Fun factoid: Ben Franklin favored turkey when a national bird was being deliberated, until their promiscuous behavior was brought to his attention. (And not by Thomas Jefferson!)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                  I read on a wild turkey website, that our domesticated bird comes from European stock, which in turn came from Mexico (Meleagris gallopavo). While 'pavo' is the common Spanish name, in Mexico a Náhuatl derivative, guajolote is common. Think of the 'everyone mispronounces this' posts we'd get if 'guajolote' had been adopted into English.

                                                                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...
                                                                                                                                                                  list of names for (wild) turkey. These are all good examples of how names for 'exotic' foods can can have screwy derivations.

                                                                                                                                                                  Apparently it was the Asian guineafowl that was originally known in English as the turkey fowl. So the current 'turkey' results from both a misunderstanding as to its origin, but also its species.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                    You're right - a lot of gringos would end up with guacamole with extra mole!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                      I once asked for Guanciale in a supposedly Italian salumeria and was told what I really wanted was Guacamole...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                        wow, now they have autocorrect in salumerias!! this will never end!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                      "Europe, used to eating fowl and accustomed to chicken as a special occasion centerpiece, was ready for a big, new, festive, good-tasting bird. Soon, turkey replaced heron, swan, peacock, and other birds that were nearly inedible but made magnificent presentations."
                                                                                                                                                                      p 137 Cuisine & Culture, Linda Civitello

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                        which is curious, given the difficulty of finding a large whole turkey in Europe, and that modern guinea fowl (pintade) are usually a fair bit smaller than chickens.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                          It may be referring to the UK part of Europe,where it is commonplace for turkeys of all sizes to be available at Xmas.

                                                                                                                                                                          As for it replacing more exotic birds, that doesnt stand up to examination. Although it had been available in Britain as far back as the 16th century, it didnt really become popular here until the middle of the 19th, by which time, the eating the likes of swan and peacock had ceased some couple of hundred years before.

                                                                                                                                                                          I suspect that the author has confused herself about what the general population might eat, as opposed to the diet of the wealthy and aristocratic

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                      "country name, late 14c., from M.L. Turchia, from Turcus (see Turk) + -ia."
                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?a...
                                                                                                                                                                      'turkey' as a name for a country, or at least a region (Asia minor where 'Turks' had migrated to) dates back to the 14c., even if the modern state post dates the Ottoman Empire.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                        Paul, you should take over for Alex Trebek when he retires from Jeopardy next year.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                          I'll take Southwest Asian National Etymology for $500, paulj.

                                                                                                                                                                    4. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                      People calling sweet potatoes yams really irritates me.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                          Do you regularly eat true yams? I never have.

                                                                                                                                                                          If using 'yam' bothered me I'd never buy some of the best sweet potatoes. When I go to an Asian grocery I can buy Japanese yams, white yams, red yams, and purple yams (Okinawan), all 'batatas'.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                            With a little more digging I realized that these names are lot more confusing.

                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet potatoes are sometimes called yams because Africans, either in Africa or the Americas (sources vary), noted a resemblance to the yam they were used to cultivating. And sweet potato has partially displaced the yam as a staple crop in Africa.

                                                                                                                                                                            Our word 'potato' comes from the Spanish 'patata'. "The Spanish Royal Academy says the Spanish word is a compound of the Taino batata (sweet potato) and the Quechua papa (potato)" (Wiki). At times 'common potato' referred to the sweet potato, and 'white potato' meant the potato.

                                                                                                                                                                            To confuse things further, the French talk about 'earth apples', while the Italians use 'golden apples' for a different New World plant.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                              The Austrians also call the potato "earth apple" (Erdapfel), unlike the Germans, who say "Kartoffel." In a restaurant in Vienna, I once made the mistake of using the word Kartoffel. I was immediately told in a stern voice by my server that that word is not used in Austria.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                                                                They're called erdäpfel in parts of Germany, too. The Rhineland, for example.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. How about 'corn'?

                                                                                                                                                                        Originally it meant any grain or grain sized object, a use that is preserved in 'peppercorn' and 'corned beef', and 94 uses in the KJV (including 'corn of wheat'). Now we Americans use it almost exclusively for maize (earlier we would have qualified it as 'Indian corn'). And in Italy the old term for any porridge (polenta) evolved to mean corn mush, and the corn used to make it.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. How about caviar? After El Bulli, chefs are making apple "caviar", maple "caviar", etc.

                                                                                                                                                                          No, they're making mini blobs, but ...well, you know...

                                                                                                                                                                          24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                            Good one. Just because something is small and spherical, caviar it does not make. Otherwise, I guess we could call English Peas "vegetable-matter caviar."

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                              oh ye of little imagination ...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                Snicker. Yep, that's me.
                                                                                                                                                                                I think even coming up w/ my answer was quite, quite creative.
                                                                                                                                                                                At least in my mind.
                                                                                                                                                                                :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                  I wonder if anyone has pureed peas and then formed them into spheres yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                    Somebody somewhere is probably doing it as we speak. And charging a mint for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                      Search and ye shall find:
                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...
                                                                                                                                                                                      Serious Eats recipe for Spherification green eggs and ham

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/11/gr...
                                                                                                                                                                                      "Good candidates for first-time spherifiers are pea juice, apricot puree, or liquefied blueberries. "

                                                                                                                                                                                      As for 'a mint' - that's in the juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                  It's better if you say "vegetable-matter" in French, mama! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                  Long before El Bulli, there was "eggplant caviar" and "Texas caviar", etc. The idea is that these foods look like caviar, not that they _are_ caviar. See also Rocky Mountain oysters, tapioca pearls, ... Sometimes the metaphorical use can lead to a real extension of the original word's definition (for example "truffle" as a chocolate preparation, not necessarily shaped into balls). But saying that apple caviar is not caviar strikes me as the same thing as complaining that farfalle is not actually butterflies or that gummi bears are not actually bears.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                    Do you think I could make fish-egg pudding with tapioca PEARLS and COCO-NUT MILK?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                      No, you could make "tapioca caviar." :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                        In my world, if you make it, you have to marry it. Mazal tov!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                        I also believe that "eggplant caviar" and "Texas caviar" are plays on the word -- that they're implied to be just as good as....

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                          What? Gummi bears are not bears? WTF??? What kinda meat are they made of?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                                              Usually a little bit of pork.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I always thought that most non-kosher gelatin was pork. Am I misinformed?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's very often made with a substance found in various cow parts, as well as horses and chickens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The biggest issue arises when you don't know what animal contributed to the gelatin, or gets served in the same meal as milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is possible to make gelatin from fish, which is sometimes labeled as kosher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's also vegetable gelatin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gelatin is actually one of the few products that just because it's considered kosher does not automatically mean it's considered halal. The reasons behind that have never been made entirely clear to me, but there you are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow!! Who knew gelatin was so complicated? Thanks Sunshine and cresyd :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                                                Reminds me of the line from the Raul Julia Addams Family movie...the child, Wednesday (Christina Ricci?) asks "Are your Girl Scout cookies made of REAL girl scouts?" I believe it was in reply to a snarky question posed by a scout about if the AF's lemonade was made with real lemons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                                                                  if vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. How mysterious a fritter can be!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. There's a (stupid) trend towards calling any sort of baked good that is cut into bars a "brownie." So, so wrong. If there's no chocolate, it's not a brownie!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                That being said, it doesn't kill me to call fancy, fruity cocktails "martinis." I know they're not, and I totally get the angst (once started a thread about it!) but I still call them that. Just because.