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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Terrible Terrine




Ever eaten a Patagonian Toothfish? It’s an ugly beast, you’d remember it. Don’t think so?

You’re wrong. You’ve had it. You’ve had it so much it’s now on the endangered species list, impaled on the hook of its own popularity when its unfortunately offputting name was changed by marketing whizzes to Chilean Sea Bass.

When something is unappetizing it’s easier to change its name than to change it: hence we have the lovely Dried Plums from the unlovely Prunes. We have Bob Veal instead of Newborn Calves. We have Jell-O instead of Gelatin.

Speaking of which, we have Terrine of Garden Vegetables rather than Leftovers. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? How can you tell if a food’s moniker has been doctored? Look for obvious redundancies in its title. What vegetables don’t come from a garden, for instance? A terrine is a nice way of saying pot; the word tureen (something you serve soup in) comes from it. Terror, on the other hand, comes from the Latin terrere, meaning to frighten. Put the two together and Voila!

This one has been concocted from leftover crudités and gelatin. They suggest serving it with horseradish and a “lusty” wine. We suggest serving it with a blindfold.

Appetizers, The Knapp Press, 1982

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