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Sunday, September 15, 2013

IS IT OR ISN'T IT?

While chopping pickles today for a potato salad, I got to thinking about them.  First of all, Pickle is a funny sounding word.  They look funny, too.   Don't know who called them that in the first place, but maybe they were 'pickled' when they happened to make one by leaving a cucumber in a vat of salt and vinegar.
That brings me to my thought.   Why do some foods have a name change?   This  one changes from a regular cucumber to a pickle within just a short time of brining.  Is there some word fairy that waves her magic wand over the vat and presto change-o, they are changed from one thing to another?   I mean, come on, it's still a cucumber!
I'm not fooled!
That led to other thoughts about other changelings in the food world.   We have of course the grape that turns into a raisin when it is dried.  Nothing strange about that except the change of name.  Why call it something completely different?  If you had never heard of a grape and someone presented you with a raisin, what would you really think it was?  Would you even know it used to be a fruit? 
Then there is the plum that turns into a prune.  Same thing here, I'm thinking.  And why would you even come up with a word like 'prune'?  It doesn't even sound like something good to eat.  Your mouth even looks funny and wrinkled up when you say it.  Why not just say it is a dried plum?   Apricots don't have this problem.  An apricot is an apricot whether it is just picked off the tree, or is dried...it's just called dried apricot.  Why didn't it get to have a name change?  Kind of like it got passed over for promotion or something.
It's not only fruit that have this metamorphosis in name.  The food product we call jerky is nothing more than dried, smoked meat.  Why not just say that? Why the fancy name change....it didn't really change.  Same goes for sashimi.....raw fish.  Nothing has changed from an actual fish at all.  I do agree the name change on this one does sound better than just raw fish, but still, everyone knows what it is.  The name change doesn't really fool anyone.
So that was where I was while chopping the pickles...lost in thought about what things are called.

Oh, by the way, the potato salad was very good!

Peace, Love, & Pickles

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