Friday, December 10, 2010

Phyrying your Food.

Earlier in the week we had some fun (at least, I had fun – I hope you did!) with some old food words. There is, of course, no law against inventing new words, and if we all made more of an effort in that regard, the language would be the richer. The fruit of one man’s neologistic (have I just invented a new word?) labours has given me my favourite food word of the week.

The man was Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum, and the word appears in The Spirit of Cookery. A popular treatise on the history, science, practice, and ethical and medical import of culinary art in 1895. Chapter XXI is entitled Culinary Fats and the Process of Frying (Phrygology), and the relevant sub-heading in that chapter is Theory of the Process of Baking in Fat, called Frying (Phrygology.) So, phrygology it is. Like it?

I have found no other appearance of the word phrygology, either before or since, so feel it is reasonable to assume it was a pure invention of J.L.W’s. The impulse to Greekify (I think that is my second neologism of the day) a perfectly good f-word with its own ancient lineage was clearly irresistible for this man of Science. Thudicum was a neurochemist, and I am delighted that he took some time out from his seminal work on brain chemistry (which is still revered today) to write a book on cookery.

For today’s recipe I give you a very basic frying batter from a promotional cookery book - Mazola: Perfect For Deep Frying (1925.)

Plain Fritters.
1 cup Flour, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon Mazola, ½ cup Milk.
Sift dry ingredients. Add eggs unbeaten with Mazola and milk, and stir till well mixed. Drop by spoonfuls into hot Mazola. Cook until golden brown. Serve with Karo, Green label.

Quotation for the Day.

If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out.
Jean Kerr.


Anonymous said...

I was going to say Cornell has this, but I just noticed the title is slightly different: Cookery; its art and practice; the history, science, and practical import of the art of cookery, with an dictionary of culinary terms. One of the copies even circulates, so I'll take it out. It sounds fun!

Jana said...

I just learned the word "merrythought", which is an archaic word for the wishbone. I like it so much.