Eat your words


The following scenario may sound familiar to you. You are reading along in a cookbook or magazine article when you encounter a word that sounds familiar but you aren't quite sure what it means. Of course you can Google it, but you can also check out a feature on the The James Beard Foundation's blog called Eat This Word.

Most EYB Members are familiar with the James Beard Foundation's annual book awards that are featured here each year, but the JBF website has expanded beyond awards. The blog has several interesting features, including the Eat This Word section. It's not meant as an exhaustive resource, but it does provide definitions and short histories of many words like pavlova, succotash, and geoduck.

The pavlova entry, for example, briefly delves into the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand in bragging rights for the meringue dessert. While there is little doubt that it was named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, there is controversy about where the dish was invented.

A similar section of the JBF blog called Tastebuds provides short blurbs on items like potlikker, Ancona duck, and chow chow. The blog contains other fun features like Ask a Chef, quizzes about food on Test your Eat-Q, and drop-dead gorgeous photos in the Eye Candy section. The JBF website also has a recipes section.

Photo of Fantasy Pavlova from A Free Range Life Website by Annabel Langbein

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