Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Another Puzzle.

I came across the following recipe some time ago: 

Beat three eggs very light with a generous pinch of salt; add one and a half tablespoonfuls of sugar, one large tablespoonful of melted butter, and sifted flour enough to roll thin; cut in narrrow strips and fry the same as doughnuts; sprinkle while hot with powdered sugar. Hypocrites are very nice served with coffee as a light refreshment, or at luncheon.

Us Two Cook Book: Containing Tested Recipes for Two Persons (1909) Jennie B. Williams

My question to you is this: how did this linear doughnut come by this name? I love it. I want to know the how, why, when and where of its naming.

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, a hypocrite is ‘One who falsely professes to be virtuously or religiously inclined; one who pretends to have feelings or beliefs of a higher order than his real ones; hence generally, a dissembler, pretender.’ To what, then, is this fried pastry strip pretending?  To being nutitionally virtuous? To being a higher order doughnut?  To feeling steamed, not fried? Your ideas, faithful readers, please.

Quotation of the Day.

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughtnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, 'Don't even act like I didn't get that doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D".'

Mitch Hedberg.


Anonymous said...

It is possible.......

In some parts of the United States, in the Nineteenth Century, some fried cakes similar to doughnuts were called "Vanity Cakes," because they were light and puffy with air.

The first time I came across such a refernce was in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. Alas, I do not recall which one off the top of my head, but that was where I saw it first.

I enjoy your blog very much.

Lawrence in Ohio (United States).

Les said...

Maybe it has to do with the order of mixing. I haven't seen many recipes that call for first beaten eggs with sugar then adding enough flour to make a dough that can be rolled out. It's usually the other way around isn't it?

ACravan said...

The Hypocrite recipe and entry are terrific. I've certainly acquired receipts for the purchase of doughnuts. The way things are going, you never know. Curtis Roberts

SharleneT said...

I wonder if it's because they're pretending to be doughnuts in taste? Don't know. Love how food comes down to us. And, so appreciate your research. Gonna have to try this one. Come visit when you can.

Foose said...

Looking at the etymology of the word "hypocrisy," one source suggested that the original Greek was based on the word for "sifting" (in the sense of "sifting the evidence," or deciding). The pastry hypocrites are sifted, so that might be a possible link. It seems very tenuous, though. Perhaps the hypocrite is a pedant's treat.

A Kitchen Witch said...

Could this be named for "Hypocrites, the Greek philosopher? I found this tidbit on eating: Hypocrites argued that the body was a temple for the soul, and that one should therefore consume only healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Hypocrites himself subsisted entirely on cheese steaks slathered in bacon grease, usually soaked overnight in boiling oil to enhance its flavour, which he ate three at a time seven times a day, and washed down with a pint of Carlsberg. He explained that by so doing, the apparent contradiction between preaching the virtues of healthy eating and while gorging himself on unhealthy food would reinforce the dualism of the psyche and soma, improving his health and stimulating his mind.
Hypocrites prided himself on being a good role model to the youth, which he best summed up in this maxim: "I do these terrible things to myself so that I might show others the error in their ways." Hypocrites thought that by partaking of these pernicious (though delicious) foods he might set the example of the slovenly elder.

Maybe these doughnuts are named so because they're an unhealthy form of nourishment, but delicious.

Ferdzy said...

I think it most likely that they were meant to be eaten with hypocras, or hippocras, a kind of sweetened spiced wine, and somebody didn't get the name quite right.