bellinghman: (Caricature)
There is a drink. It is made by injecting high pressure steam through finely ground coffee to cause the coffee to be quickly 'squeezed' from the grounds, and it's made on purpose just for you: there's no batch production.

Or, in other words, it is expressly expressed from the grounds, and expressly for you.

What a wonderful collision of three different meanings of a word. It's understandable that the originators decided to call it 'express coffee'. Except that, they being Italian and the letter 'x' not being in the Italian alphabet[1], that became 'espresso'.

So the Italian word for it is 'espresso'.

The French, however, call it 'expresso', since they have the letter 'x' in their alphabet, as do the Spanish (who call it 'expreso' - note the non-doubled 's').

(I have seen someone mocking French company Carte Noire for calling their drink 'expresso'. This is one of those cases where the ignorance is not where the mocker thought it was.)

We English usually borrow culinary words from the French rather than from the Italians, with the honourable exceptions of pizza and pasta where even the French use the Italian words. So we have courgettes rather than zucchinis. And as we have the letter 'x' (and the word 'express'), it makes more sense for us to use the French spelling than the Italian.

I note that Americans have much less of a tendency to use French sources in the kitchen — they have zucchinis and cilantro. So it's not invalid for them to use a different term in this case, one that differs in a single letter.

Me, I'm going to be perfectly happy to see either 'espresso' or 'expresso'. Both are correct in my eyes.

[1] The 26-letter western alphabet is often termed the 'Roman Alphabet'. The actual alphabet according to Italians is 21 letters: J, K, W, X and Y not being proper members, and the Romans[2] had 23 letters (missing J, U and W).

[2] Well, not all Romans at all periods, since as an example the current Romans are Italians and have 21 as previously stated.
bellinghman: (Default)

When I was young, one of the dishes my mother used to cook us was a variation on a chilli con carne. It was deeply inauthentic, as befits British cookery of 40 years ago, but it was tasty, inexpensive, and very easy to prepare. And we all loved it.

I have recently started to cook it myself, at least a variation on it, but I think I have the essence of the original.

So, with no more ado

Chilli beans

Ingredients

  • 500g lean minced beef (extra lean is better)

  • 1 tin of baked beans

  • 1 packet of Colmans chilli con carne mix

  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

  • 4 tablespoons water
Method
  • Preheat an oven to 160C

  • In a casserole, brown the minced beef

  • Add the spice mix and stir in

  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix in

  • Mix all together and place the casserole in the oven for 45 minutes

The above will serve two hungry people. When I was young, we used to have it with freshly baked crusty white bread, but [livejournal.com profile] bellinghwoman and I have it on its own.

The original also had a couple of bay leaves in, but I've so far managed to forget that both times. You can also add some chopped browned onion. If you feel like it, you can be serious with this, adding your own spices rather than using a pre-made mix, and using tomato purée and sugar and vinegar instead of the ketchup, but at that point you're starting to head off into proper cookery. The essence of this one is its simplicity.

bellinghman: (Default)
I said that the steak I had last night was the best I'd ever had. I just checked, and discovered that Fullblood Wagyu is what Kobe beef is. Cooked properly, it is going to be as good as it gets.

(Fullblood is another term for pedigree, since it appears most Wagyu are crossbred.)

Posted via LjBeetle
bellinghman: (Default)
I said that the steak I had last night was the best I'd ever had. I just checked, and discovered that Fullblood Wagyu is what Kobe beef is. Cooked properly, it is going to be as good as it gets.

(Fullblood is another term for pedigree, since it appears most Wagyu are crossbred.)

Posted via LjBeetle

May 2016

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