A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cheesed off with the brown sauce!

It seems every trade and profession these days has its own business-speak. The catering industry is no exception. I'm a great fan of cookery programmes on TV. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, is my latest interest! It's made by the same company that does Nigela Lawson's shows. Thankfully, St. Vitas doesn't operate the cameras!

A lot of these cooks and chefs have developed the habit of saying that everything is "off" this and "off" that. Nothing is ever cooked properly in a word sense. It is baked off, boiled off, or sweated off. Sounds ghastly. Fanny Cradock only ever managed to sweat off Johnny. The one that really gets me is "pan-fried". Nothing is just fried these days. It is PAN FRIED!

One menu item is pan-fried sea bass. This popped up in the early 80's. I remember a time when it was just called bass. "I've got a nice piece of bass, madam!" as my mother looked over the Macfisheries slab. She never thought of pan frying it.

Do we ever ask for our eggs done this way? Americans are great at asking how we like our eggs at breakfast. They'd think I was some kind of plonker if I said "I'll have mine pan-fried!"

It is a kind of distancing. By using words to imply some form of complicated process, those not necessarily in the know think it is more important or possesses deeper meaning than it does. I have to say though that Pan-fried Sea Bass sounds far more exotic and appetising than just Fried Bass.

I'll be thinking today when in the kitchen what I want "fried off". Sausages might be an idea.


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