Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Little Tewahdiddle?

It seems a long time since we talked about an old food word. A lost food word usually means a lost food, you know. And what sort of pathetic excuse for a culture loses a perfectly good food, I ask? And does beer count as food, I also ask? I ask the second question because today’s topic is a slightly mysterious, enhanced beer beverage called ‘Tewahdiddle.’

I say ‘mysterious’ because there only seems to be one authority on the topic – our old friend Dr William Kitchiner (1775-1827). Certainly The Oxford English Dictionary does not know tewahdiddle.

Here are Kitchener’s words in The Cook’s Oracle (1817).

Tewahdiddle. – No. 467
A pint of Table Beer (or Ale, if you intend it for a supplement to your "Night-Cap"), a tablespoonful of Brandy, and a teaspoonful of brown Sugar, or clarified Syrup No. 475; a little grated Nutmeg or Ginger may be added, and a roll of very thin cut Lemon Peel.
Obs.- Before our readers make any remarks on this composition, we beg of them to taste it; if the materials are good, and their palate vibrates in unison with our own, they will find it one of the pleasantest beverages they ever put to their lips,- and, as Lord Ruthven says, "this is a right Gossips' Cup, that far exceeds all the Ale that ever MOTHER BUNCH made in her lifetime."

What do you think? A good beverage for a cold night?

Quotation for the Day

I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night.


Alison DeLuca said...

OH, heck, I'd drink a glass of Tewahdiddle!

Marcheline said...

I'll be the first to ask. Who is Mother Bunch? 8-)

The Old Foodie said...

Alison: I am not a beer drinker, generally, but I do believe I would try this on a cold night!
Marcheline: I wondered the same thing myself. I have added it to the impossibly long list of things to research when I get time .......

Anonymous said...

Toward the end of the excerpt on Tewahdiddle, someone quotes "good old Lord Ruthven" who, as you pointed out earlier, may have gotten undue credit for "The Ladies' Cabinet". Is there a reference to the drink there as well?

Mother Bunch was a folk figure, supposedly a tavern keeper whose slightly risque fairy tales can be found in "Pasquil's Jests" and other manuscripts from the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Some time in the 1750s (if I remember correctly), "Mother Bunch's Closet Newly Broke Open" was published; it purported to teach both men and women how to attract suitable spouses. It's been a few years but as I recall it's a really fun read, if you can find it!

The Old Foodie said...

Hi 'Anonymous'. Thanks for the info on Mother Bunch! The drink mentioned by 'Lord Ruthven' was not called tewhaddidle, but (from memory) was a 'gossip cup'
I will try to post on it soon.