Started conversation May 16, 2003
Being a fellow Texan I would be proud if 'Old Dave's' story were true. However I do doubt the Paris, Texas connection to french fries. The story I've heard about the origin of the term "french fries" has to do with how they are made and little with it's country of origin. Apparently when a vegetable has been cut into long strips it is referred to as "frenched". In other words the term "french fries" is a shortened way to say "frenched and fried potatoes". Hopefully someone with a more thorough culinary background will come by and confirm or deny this, but for now that's my story and I'm sticking with it.
again Farlander on another excellent article. Knowing your field of expertise I was pleased it didn't delve too deeply in E. Coli and it's ilk.
BTW if anyone's ever in the Houston, Texas area visiting the Johnson Space Center be sure to visit the Outpost Tavern just down the road for a legendarily tasty burger. And you just might see an astronaut while you're there.
Posted May 17, 2003
There's a lot of wishful thinking relocating the origin of everything French just now; just as fifty years ago German Shepherd dogs were renamed "Alsatians" in England, and the German Horn used in orchestras worldwide has long been called the "French Horn".
Several things look odd in this entry: why did anyone need a concession to sell beef sandwiches in 1904? Could any kind of patent possibly apply, before the "special ingredients" age?
And the idea of southern Germans calling the Hamburg people barbarians is a little ridiculous.
I had heard that the "Hamburg steak" was a particularly tough cut from near the neck, impossible to chew unless minced; in stark contrast with the finest fillet used in Steak Tartare.
My brother insisted on asking for a rissole once, in the States. We had to translate for him.
Posted May 19, 2003
To be honest, I think I need a translation as well. I tried to feign knowledge by looking rissole up on a food dictionary and only came up with this:
1. Sweet- or savory-filled pastry (often shaped like a turnover) that is fried or baked and served as an appetizer, side dish or dessert (depending on the size and filling). 2. Small, partially cooked potato balls that are browned in butter until crisp.
which doesn't really tell me much.
Posted May 19, 2003
Wow -- the barrier of a common language again! The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, bastion of correctness (ie exclusive, not like Chambers) says "An entrée made of meat or fish, chopped up and mixed with bread-crumbs, egg, etc., rolled into a ball or small thick cake and fried", dates it from 1706 and says it comes from the . . . ah . . . French.
There's a story of a misprint on a menu, that resuted in a customer ordering "pissoles". The waiter said "My apologies sir, that should be an R", so the customer said "Very well then I'll have R-soles"