Yesterday, I got a hankering for back bacon. It’s certainly not the first time, but I live in a rural part of America so my back bacon access is severely limited. (All of you who are lucky enough to have a fry up whenever you like can doze off here.) I tried talking to my local butcher who convinced me to try cottage bacon. No Joy! Not even a good imitation. My husband received Irish bacon in a Christmas gift exchange. We were all but drooling with anticipation waiting for the pan to heat up. It’s not like we are bacon virgins, we eat bacon almost every day. But, once again-no joy! Is it the magic of the Aga that makes your bacon so baconlicious?
I was truly a food snob before my trip to England in 2006. Like most nationals, I believed American food was superior to that of other countries. Though we were mostly limited to a pub/railway station menu due to our budget, I enjoyed the freshest yogurt in Cheddar, mouth-watering Cornish pasties, sweets to the sweet treacle tart, the most succulent sausages, and oh-my, that back bacon which miraculously showed up daily at every B & B. Did I mention I love bacon?
Back to my back bacon hunt, I found some on the web in Chicago. I hate having to mail away for food, and paying shipping for the privilege, but short of auctioning my organs on Craigslist for a plane ticket, this is now my best option. My web search led to some other intriguing foods, happily with some really weird names. Even Americans are familiar with Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, and Spotted Dick, but these are truly strange. We have some weird foods in America too: I am still traumatized after seeing my stepfather eat headcheese and there was that pickled tongue that lived in a jar in our refrigerator. What kid wants to go to the frig for a coke and be faced with a tongue?
These foods probably aren’t strange to you Brits, but I’m pretty sure most of these are new to us Yanks. No, these aren’t whimsical names of Dickens characters, but since many predate Charles Dickens, I think he may have missed a really good opportunity here, don’t you?
There’s bound to be a story behind these strange names, but that’s a post for another day. I’m pretty sure headcheese and pickled tongue are just as scary as they sound. Give me a Singing Hinny or some Clapshot any day.
What your favorite food with a truly weird name?