The National Croquet League in
Croquet gets its name from one of the other three essential pieces of equipment in the game – the mallet - which, if you squint at it the right way, could be mistaken for a gigantic crochet hook, which if you squint at it (in French) through a magnifying glass, does slightly resemble a croche, or shepherd’s crook. Funny, how language works, isnt it? A lawn game that became terribly fashionable in the mid-nineteenth century is linguistically related to Granny’s knee rugs and to the good souls who tend the animals that give us Roquefort and chèvre.
A 'Croquette' - the edible ‘compound made of delicious Stuff'd Meat, some of the bigness of an Egg, and others of a Walnut’ – has been around for longer – since at least the very early eighteenth century. It also claims a French heritage (which you probably guessed from the pretentious ‘- ette’ on the end), but this word comes from the verb croquer, meaning 'to crackle under the teeth, to crunch'. The actual material from which the croquette is made is immaterial – almost anything will do to provide a base for its singular virtue – the one which gave it its name – the crisp, crackly, crunchy, shell. There is no culinary secret to this shell – all the base needs is a good crumb coating and a good deep frying.
We have had a recipe for sweetbread croquettes in a previous story, so here are a couple of other suggestions for the supporting framework for that crisp, crackly, crunchy shell.
Sweet Potato Croquettes.
Boil, peel and mash six large sweet potatoes; season with salt, a tablespoon of butter, one of sugar and a little pepper. When cold, mold into croquettes, dip into beaten egg, then into finely rolled bread crumbs, and fry brown in hot fat.
Practical Vegetarian Cookery, 1897
2 cups chopped cold cooked veal
Few grains cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
Few drops onion juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Yolk 1 egg
1 cup thick sauce made of White Soup Stock. Mix ingredients in order given. Cool, shape, crumb, and fry same as other croquettes.
Fannie Merritt. 1918.The
Tomorrow’s Story …
Time for parents.
Quotation for the Day …
To Adam and Eve: "You first parents of the human race ... who ruined yourself for an apple, what might you have done for a truffled turkey?"
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)