Tag: food and drink

What exactly does 'ich bin ein Berliner' mean?

‘Ich bin ein Berliner’, JFK, and jam doughnuts

The fall of the Berlin Wall (initially called antifaschistischer Schutzwall, or ‘anti-fascist protective barrier’) in 1989 is a momentous occasion in German history and a crucial milestone hailing the end of the GDR, which had been founded in 1949 and was officially dissolved in 1990. Over 51 years, the GDR formed an important part of […]

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spices large

Salaries, dragons, and musk: rooting around in the spice rack

As the Bard said, “That time of year thou mayst in me behold” a pumpkin-spice latte–or beer, bubble gum, even burgers, such is the market. While we may have reached so-called “peak pumpkin” this year, the autumn season is indeed one of seasonings, of herbs and spices with the special power to evoke that cozy sense of home. From trade […]

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meanings of pasta names

The meaning of pasta names

Let’s look at a selection of words for different types of pasta. Unsurprisingly, many pasta names are simply the Italian for the shape in which the pasta comes, but they may well surprise anybody who doesn’t speak the language. Agnolotti Pasta squares stuffed with a variety of fillings, like small ravioli. The name is probably […]

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Check out our list of coffee words

A list of coffee words

Let’s set aside our mugs and cups to take a look a list of coffee words that any self-respecting java lover should know. Always confused by what all those names on the chalkboard behind the counter mean? Then look no further! Coffee words will be a mystery no more: Americano or café Americano: a drink of […]

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money coins

How did bread, cheese, and dough come to mean money?

Back in the day, the hip-hop duo OutKast released a song called “Aquemini” that goes: Street scholars that’s majoring in culinary arts, you know, how to work the bread, cheese, and dough from scratch This is a little André wordplay, talking about hustlers out to earn their pay. When I heard this and clocked the […]

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What's the origin of banana?

What is the origin of ‘banana’?

Banana appears to be a tropical African word, but its lexical origins represent only a single stage in the fruit’s worldwide wanderings before it reached English. Asian origins? It probably first grew in Southeast Asia, and did not make a big impact elsewhere until the early Islamic period when it was brought from India to […]

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bread idioms

The greatest thing since bread idioms

When it comes to offering both nutritional and linguistic value, no food is more nourishing than good ol’, plain ol’ bread. For centuries, bread has been a symbol of the ultimate sustenance – and bread idioms and proverbs further emphasize its dual status as a provider of life and a measure of how well that […]

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hotdog

Hot diggety dog: the language of hotdogs

In my local supermarket there is a section of shelving devoted to sausages in tins and jars. American-style hot dogs whose label reveals them to be made in England from mechanically recovered turkey, frankfurters made from slightly more identifiable meats, Bockwurst from Germany, and jars of Polish kiełbasa. European harmony expressed through the medium of […]

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