Eating Your Words

The fascinating origins of everyday culinary words and phrases

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Food glorious food!

Everything but the kitchen sink

Keep the pot boiling

Out of the frying pan

Salad days  

In the soup!

Cook one’s goose  

Give us a butchers!   

What a sauce!

A sandwich short of a picnic

Feeling groggy           

Just my cup of tea

Look to your laurels   

The spice of life      

In a nutshell   


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The meaning and origin of words and phrases related to kebabs

A kebab  is a term for small chunks of meat, poultry flesh, seafood, fruits or vegetables that are threaded onto a skewer and then barbecued or grilled. Kebabs are a popular feature of Middle Eastern cuisine. The word comes from the Arabic for roast meat, kabāb.

A shish kebab is meat (generally lamb) cooked on a skewer and cooked over open flames. Shish kebabs are generally served with rice and vegetables or a salad. They may be served with the meat still on the skewers or already removed. The name is first recorded in American English, in 1914, in Sinclair Lewis's novel Our Mr. Wrenn ‘‘I'm sure you'll like shish kebab.’ It was borrowed into English from the Armenian shish kabab, from the Turkish şiş 'skewer' + kebap 'roast meat'.

A doner kebab consists of minced and seasoned lamb that is roasted on a vertical spit. The meat is then cut off in thin slices and served in pitta bread with a salad. First recorded in 1958, the name is from the Tutkish döner kebap, from döner (participal adj. meaning rotating) + kebap 'roast meat'.

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Ooh you are offal....but I like you!