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The Terrine Topic


MatthewB
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That of course, didn't stop us from enjoying it with our home-grown cornichons, good bread and a nice mustardy wild green salad!

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Trillium! That looks just amazingly wonderful. A pâté de campagne maison. I want to have some of that. If that was in the window of the traiteur over here, I can assure you it would not last long. People would buy it up like hotcakes. :smile:

Hey - what's that sauce?

-Lucy

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Alan Davidson says something like this in the Oxford Companion to Food, though he doesn't provide sources.

Still, I wonder why we have the modern distinction between pâte (feminine) and pâté (masculine), with the former referring only to the pastry crust and the latter either to the combined crust and filling, or to the filling only. You couldn't have a pâte en croute (piecrust in a crust) but you could have a pâté en croute. Somehow Davidson's story seems incomplete to me.

Perhaps this is an example of the rhetorical trope (I forget its name -- some sort of metonymy I guess) that James Thurber described in one of his memoirs as "the container for the thing contained". Thurber then wondered if he could find an example of a "thing contained for the container"; the example he dreamed up was an angry wife, threatening to brain her husband with a milkbottle and shouting "Get out of here or I'll hit you with the milk!"

Or the vaudeville performer, asked why he is bleeding and bruised, who replies "I was hit with some tomatoes during the show."

"How could a few tomatoes do that to you?"

"The tomatoes were in a can."

Somewhat marginal to the topic, I know, but at least about food.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Jonathan - I think that if you go back to the origins of the word etc, the there wasn't really a distict "French" or "English" cuisine (although there was regional preferences, balance or sweet v sour and spice proportions etc) and the words usages are very similar. However, over time as French cuisine developed and became increasingly sophisticated and loaded with specific cooking terms, the distinctions became more and more apparent.

So while the English pretty much started with pastry/pie and ended with pastry/pie, the French have ended up with this very complicated etymology.

What your posts highlight for me is that really should pay more attention to the little squiggles dancing around French letters, especially since my own name has one. :smile:

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Trillium! That looks just amazingly wonderful. A pâté de campagne maison. I want to have some of that. If that was in the window of the traiteur over here, I can assure you it would not last long. People would buy it up like hotcakes. :smile:

Hey - what's that sauce?

-Lucy

Merci beaucoup, madam. The sauce is bits of the liquid that came out of the terrine (I'm sticking with a word that has no squiggles) while cooking, and when cooled, had a lovely jelly consistency. There was only a few spoonfuls, the rest kind of went back into the terrine as it cooled. I do have some fat the rendered from it that tastes just like the terrine. I wonder what to do with that...potatoes maybe.

regards,

trillium

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The caul fat is just beautiful and not that easy to come by for those whose meats must come from a supermarket.

It's funny you mention that. We had a horrible cultural clash buying our half of pig. A co-worker refers to it as the pig of discontent because the partner was so annoyed that the butchers not only skin it so they don't have to deal with the bristles, but they threw out all of the innards (caul, intestines, heart, kidneys, etc) except the liver, and also threw out the feet and the head. Needless to say, I spent quite some time listening to how weird it was that Americans would toss out the best bits of the pig, and not even save the blood! We had bought this half a hog to use in our Asian cookery and to dabble in charcuterie, so the loss of the caul fat was a real bummer. I had spoken to the butcher at my grocery and he had trouble finding some, but suggested just using fatback. In one of my trips to a Vietnamese grocery store, I spotted the caul fat in the freezer. It was the whole thing, from a very large hog (I only used half), and cost me $2. Cool, huh?

I find white porcelain to be very nice and I've seen rather small ones that might serve to bake a gift pate/terrine. It's also no unthinkable to use a little round ramekin to make individual terrines.

That's a great idea too, and I have several of those.

I generally weigh down the terrine as soon as it comes from the oven and remove the weight as soon as it cools. I suspect weighing it down while it's cooking will eliminate the crumbly texture, but it's also possible to weigh it down too heavily and squeeze all the fat and juice out of the meat.

I found that a lot of the fat and juice went back into the meat as it sat in the fridge for 3 days. I can't imagine how you would weigh it down while cooking, but that may be because I used a piece of cardboard and several cans of tomatoes for my weights. That French book I refered to was interesting because they were presenting terrines from a professional cooking point of view. They had you pouring off all of the liquid after it baked and then bathing it in another liquid you made especially for it while it cooled. I'm sure the results would be delicious, but I can't imagine that happening very often in the home kitchen.

Jane Grigson's The Art of Charcuterie is a favorite of mine. I don't know if it's in print. It's a small book without photographs.

You're the second person to recommend the book to me, so maybe I better go find it! It wasn't available at the library, which is why I didn't consult it. The nice thing about the book I used was that it had pictures of every step of the process.

regards,

trillium

edit: to let my fingers catch up with my thought processes

Edited by trillium (log)
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This is a great thread. Particularly like the etymological bits.

I think you can find a terra cotta terrine at Bridge Kitchen Supply.

There's a book by the guy who teaches charcuterie at the CIA called The Art of Garde Manger. Quite technical and very helpful. Excellent photography, though not enough of it.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Jonathan - I think that if you go back to the origins of the word etc, the there wasn't really a distict "French" or "English" cuisine (although there was regional preferences, balance or sweet v sour and spice proportions etc) and the words usages are very similar. However, over time as French cuisine developed and became increasingly sophisticated and loaded with specific cooking terms, the distinctions became more and more apparent.

So while the English pretty much started with pastry/pie and ended with pastry/pie, the French have ended up with this very complicated etymology.

What your posts highlight for me is that really should pay more attention to the little squiggles dancing around French letters, especially since my own name has one. :smile:

Wait! Wait! This has been bugging me, and finally I realized why - because I have the answer right here on my shelves: the 1873 edition of Littré. If that ain't French etymological authority, I don't know what is. So I looks it up, and sure as hell it's unequivocal.

To begin with, the first of the 14 possible meanings of the word is Sorte de pâtisserie qui enferme de la chair ou du poisson - that is, "a type of pastry which encloses meat or fish." This in itself certainly implies that the type wrapped in pastry came first. Note that nothing is said about the meat or fish being chopped or cut up at all, let alone to a paste-like consistency; this makes a lot of sense, because the word is bourgeois in derivation and actually (both etymologically and culinarily, if I may so express it) runs much more parallel to the origins of the English "pasty" than to "pastry" or "pie." Haven't hauled out my OED yet, but what do you bet that the origins of the English word are OF or MF. Norman, perhaps. Consider the close kinship betweel Cornwall and Brittany, and the equally close kinship between pâté and "pasty" is unmistakable. (Early pasties, BTW, didn't contain chopped meat either, but large chunks of meat or fish. Sound familiar?)

And THEN - after literary/historic citations dating to the 13th century, and after the obligatory blah blah blah about how the word comes from pasté and the 's' evolved into the circonflexe as such things so often do, Littré sayeth: Pasté a la forme d'un participe passé formé de paste, pâte: ce qui a été pasté, fait avec la pâte. That is: "Pasté has the form of a past participle formed from paste or pastry; that which has been pastried, or made with pastry."

I don't see where that leaves much room for doubt, do you?

BTW sorry if my different modes of emphasis got confusing - there are only so many ways to mark this stuff up.... :unsure:

EDIT: Yes!!!!! OED quoth re "pasty": ME from OF. I knew it! Wheee!!!!

:undignified little triumphal dance:

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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We had a horrible cultural clash buying our half of pig.  A co-worker refers to it as the pig of discontent because the partner was so annoyed that the butchers not only skin it so they don't have to deal with the bristles, but they threw out all of the innards (caul, intestines, heart, kidneys, etc) except the liver, and also threw out the feet and the head.  Needless to say, I spent quite some time listening to how weird it was that Americans would toss out the best bits of the pig, and not even save the blood!

There again you run into the idiocy of the FDA, which forbids the sale of some of these things. I think the heart and kidneys are legal, but the blood sure isn't. The intestines might be, if you buy them pre-cleaned and coiled as sausage casings... but the sheep version is far easier to get. It is, of course, possible to get these things, but the only way I know of to do it is to get cozy with the right farmer and be in the right place at the right time for the handoff - preferably on a moonless night. (I am not kidding about this!) Technically it's supposed to be legal as long as no money changes hands, but the reach of an FDA inspector tends to exceed his grasp, and he can always come up with some way to make a farmer's life miserable; not a system you want to run afoul of.

I had spoken to the butcher at my grocery and he had trouble finding some, but suggested just using fatback.  In one of my trips to a Vietnamese grocery store, I spotted the caul fat in the freezer.  It was the whole thing, from a very large hog (I only used half), and cost me $2.  Cool, huh?

Way cool! Fatback just would not have done the trick.

Jane Grigson's The Art of Charcuterie is a favorite of mine. I don't know if it's in print. It's a small book without photographs.

You're the second person to recommend the book to me, so maybe I better go find it! It wasn't available at the library, which is why I didn't consult it.

I don't think it is (and I'm the third!). I have the 1976 Knopf paperback; the hardcover was copyright 1967. It is generally considered THE bible on the subject - and she's a lovely writer. I just looked it up on ABE, and they currently list 24 copies. It's more expensive than I expected - paperback starts at $18 - but very well worth it.

[EDIT for redundant language]

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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Balmagowry, in case no one has told you lately, we are awfully glad to have you around...

This has proven to be more of the more interesting threads of late. Trillum, I've been a devoted terrine-maker for years, and your pictures have me inspired to hunt down some caul and dig out my molds - it has been far too long since I've constructed a good terrine.

I just won't have the advtantage of homemade cornichons for several months...

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Balmagowry, in case no one has told you lately, we are awfully glad to have you around...

Aw, shucks, ma'am... thankee kindly. See, for me it is way way cool to be in a place where people are actually into my favorite brand of esoterica. There aren't many places where one can hold forth about French culinary etymology, y'know. :wink: (And if you want to see me get really insufferable, check out the Chicken Marengo thread on this forum!)

This has proven to be more of the more interesting threads of late. Trillum, I've been a devoted terrine-maker for years, and your pictures have me inspired to hunt down some caul and dig out my molds - it has been far too long since I've constructed a good terrine.

I just won't have the advtantage of homemade cornichons for several months...

Well, it has similarly inspired me, and I have never been a terrine-maker, except a little bit in the armchair sense. Lucky for me I have an obliging butcher, so caul shouldn't be impossible. After seeing Trillium's pictures, I am sorely tempted to follow her example. (And more convinced than ever that a Keyboard DroolGuard ought to be standard equipment for all eGulleters.)

As for the cornichons - oh dear, I know it's heresy, but I don't even like the damn things, so I don't know whether I should bother planting 'em. But that doesn't have to be decided for another couple of months.

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Well, it has similarly inspired me, and I have never been a terrine-maker, except a little bit in the armchair sense. Lucky for me I have an obliging butcher, so caul shouldn't be impossible. After seeing Trillium's pictures, I am sorely tempted to follow her example. (And more convinced than ever that a Keyboard DroolGuard ought to be standard equipment for all eGulleters.)

As for the cornichons - oh dear, I know it's heresy, but I don't even like the damn things, so I don't know whether I should bother planting 'em. But that doesn't have to be decided for another couple of months.

Oh, do try! It is great fun. I've got some venison in the freezer and I think this is where I'll start mine. I've done them rabbit, duck, and various pork products as well.

As far as not liking cornichons, it is sort of a necessary thing with terrines - you plop a bit of terrine in the mouth and immediately follow it with a bite of cornichon. Another bite of terrine and then a splash of wine. Maybe a little salad or cheese inbetween, maybe not.

BTW, the book I'm especially fond is Pâtés and Terrines by Frederick W. Ehlert, Edouard Longue, Michael Raffael, and Frank Wesel by Hurst books. It is a big, flat almost coffeetable-style book that covers every aspect of this delightful art.

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Oh, do try! It is great fun. I've got some venison in the freezer and I think this is where I'll start mine. I've done them rabbit, duck, and various pork products as well.

Oh. My. God. You said a mouthful. Carolyn, you're a genius. If there's one thing I have a lot of in my freezer, and access to a lot more of, it's venison. More, embarrassingly, than I know what to do with. Terrines! That's the perfect answer!

As far as not liking cornichons, it is sort of a necessary thing with terrines - you plop a bit of terrine in the mouth and immediately follow it with a bite of cornichon. Another bite of terrine and then a splash of wine.

Waaaah! I know! I know I'm an unreconstructed philistine, a lost soul! But... what's a girl to do? Must I forbear the terrine altogether because I really can't stand the cornichon? That's... cruel. I have no ideological objection to them, you understand; I'm perfectly happy to serve them and to watch others enjoy them; I'm even discreet about my own foible, so discreet that I doubt anyone has ever twigged (but I couldn't conceal it from you guys - full disclosure, and all that). But for me it's a combination that just... doesn't... work.icon8.gif

I'm sorry. I guess I'll slink off with my tail between my legs now. :sad:

(I'm reallly hopeless. I don't like Brad Pitt either.)

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Jonathan - I think that if you go back to the origins of the word etc, the there wasn't really a distict "French" or "English" cuisine (although there was regional preferences, balance or sweet v sour and spice proportions etc) and the words usages are very similar. However, over time as French cuisine developed and became increasingly sophisticated and loaded with specific cooking terms, the distinctions became more and more apparent.

So while the English pretty much started with pastry/pie and ended with pastry/pie, the French have ended up with this very complicated etymology.

What your posts highlight for me is that really should pay more attention to the little squiggles dancing around French letters, especially since my own name has one. :smile:

Wait! Wait! This has been bugging me, and finally I realized why - because I have the answer right here on my shelves: the 1873 edition of Littré. If that ain't French etymological authority, I don't know what is. So I looks it up, and sure as hell it's unequivocal.

To begin with, the first of the 14 possible meanings of the word is Sorte de pâtisserie qui enferme de la chair ou du poisson - that is, "a type of pastry which encloses meat or fish." This in itself certainly implies that the type wrapped in pastry came first. Note that nothing is said about the meat or fish being chopped or cut up at all, let alone to a paste-like consistency; this makes a lot of sense, because the word is bourgeois in derivation and actually (both etymologically and culinarily, if I may so express it) runs much more parallel to the origins of the English "pasty" than to "pastry" or "pie." Haven't hauled out my OED yet, but what do you bet that the origins of the English word are OF or MF. Norman, perhaps. Consider the close kinship betweel Cornwall and Brittany, and the equally close kinship between pâté and "pasty" is unmistakable. (Early pasties, BTW, didn't contain chopped meat either, but large chunks of meat or fish. Sound familiar?)

And THEN - after literary/historic citations dating to the 13th century, and after the obligatory blah blah blah about how the word comes from pasté and the 's' evolved into the circonflexe as such things so often do, Littré sayeth: Pasté a la forme d'un participe passé formé de paste, pâte: ce qui a été pasté, fait avec la pâte. That is: "Pasté has the form of a past participle formed from paste or pastry; that which has been pastried, or made with pastry."

I don't see where that leaves much room for doubt, do you?

BTW sorry if my different modes of emphasis got confusing - there are only so many ways to mark this stuff up.... :unsure:

EDIT: Yes!!!!! OED quoth re "pasty": ME from OF. I knew it! Wheee!!!!

:undignified little triumphal dance:

So what I said, with more French squiggles though. :biggrin:

I am making 16th century chicken pie for dinner right now, do I get to call it a terrine? Is being cooked in a 19th century pie dish (terrine/tureen), thats gotta count right?

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But... what's a girl to do? Must I forbear the terrine altogether because I really can't stand the cornichon? That's... cruel. I have no ideological objection to them, you understand; I'm perfectly happy to serve them and to watch others enjoy them; I'm even discreet about my own foible, so discreet that I doubt anyone has ever twigged (but I couldn't conceal it from you guys - full disclosure, and all that). But for me it's a combination that just... doesn't... work.

(I'm reallly hopeless. I don't like Brad Pitt either.)

The two are't mutally inclusive, trust me. Can't stand Mr. Pitt, love cornichons.

What don't you like about cornichons in combo with terrines? Are your objections acidity based? Texture? Do you have a problem with pickles in general? If you're going to do full disclosure, we need details.

regards,

trillium

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But... what's a girl to do? Must I forbear the terrine altogether because I really can't stand the cornichon? That's... cruel. I have no ideological objection to them, you understand; I'm perfectly happy to serve them and to watch others enjoy them; I'm even discreet about my own foible, so discreet that I doubt anyone has ever twigged (but I couldn't conceal it from you guys - full disclosure, and all that). But for me it's a combination that just... doesn't... work.

(I'm reallly hopeless. I don't like Brad Pitt either.)

The two are't mutally inclusive, trust me. Can't stand Mr. Pitt, love cornichons.

What don't you like about cornichons in combo with terrines? Are your objections acidity based? Texture? Do you have a problem with pickles in general? If you're going to do full disclosure, we need details.

regards,

trillium

So funny, Trillum - you read my mind.

i.e. Agree on the Brad Pitt thing AND the need for full disclosure!

(Now pictures of Russell Crowe Knitting is another thing altogether....)

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OK, so Pitt was a bad choice. Picked him out of thin air because I was looking for some epitome of the universally popular. Should have known this crowd would have better taste. Damn - and that was almost my only tidbit of knowledge about popular culture!

OK, you two, fine. Full disclosure you want, full disclosure you got. But prepare to be shocked.

See, it's even worse than you thought - it isn't just that I don't like cornichons with terrine. I don't like them, period. I Just Don't.

It isn't the acidity, nor is it pickles in general. Yet it may not be entirely unrelated to pickles in general either. To my palate the pickle of pickles, the ultimate pickle, the Pickle Supreme, is that prime exemplar of the kosher dill variety which hovers trembling between New and Half-Sour. (A full sour I will eat and even enjoy, but it vouldn't be mine foist cherce.) All others, to me, are simply too... sweet.

So that may be the answer. What do I not like about cornichons? Merely that they are not quarter-sour kosher dills.

There, my sisters, now you know the worst of me. Please believe me, I am more to be pitied than censured. Do not cast me off.

Ah, and speaking of Casting Off ( :laugh: how's that for a smooth segue! :laugh: )...

(Now pictures of Russell Crowe Knitting is another thing altogether....)

...yes, I do love that schtick. I do wish, though, that they'd had the smarts to set him up to show which hand he uses to carry the yarn. ("Merely adding corroborative detail to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative...") Then we could all argue over American style vs. European vs. Elizabeth Zimmermann Ambidextrous, and the whole thing would just be so much more... piquant. Oh shit, now how did I land back in the pickles all of a sudden? :huh:

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So what I said, with more French squiggles though. :biggrin:

And perhaps just a touch more, ahem, authority, too. :wink:

I am making 16th century chicken pie for dinner right now, do I get to call it a terrine? Is being cooked in a 19th century pie dish (terrine/tureen), thats gotta count right?
Just found one possible origin of "pie" as the gaelic "pighe" which is an earthen pot. So pie could be terrine. What fun!

Hang on a sec - I can add something to this. Or perhaps what I should really say is that you have added a piece to a larger puzzle, bringing both terrine and pie full circle, and also tying together the elements of paste and pastry, pâte and pâté.

I am sure you already know, as some others here perhaps may not, that in former times the crust of a raised pie, though strictly speaking it was edible, was not actually intended to be consumed. No less a person than your own dear Meg Dods supplies the key to that conundrum when she says "A raised pie is a larder in itself."

In the days before refrigeration one of the many virtues of a pie was that it constituted a way of preserving otherwise perishable meats for many weeks. But a tortuous path of experimentation was required before the pie method came into play. The story actually begins with potting, as in potted meat or potted shrimp. Some clever person figured out that he could put by his meat in an earthen pot - i.e. the equivalent of a terrine - and fill it with melted fat to cover (Thread Convergence Alert! can you say confit?), put a close-fitting lid over that, and it would keep for a remarkably long time. There is, however, one grave disadvantage to this method: what if you don't own very many clay pots? What if you have only ONE? Why then, you're shit out of luck the next time you want to use it, because there it is in the larder keeping your meat potted.

Solution: stop using clay pots for preserving meat. Create a disposable pot out of some other durable, solid (and preferably cheap) material, and keep the precious pot for day-to-day use. And thus was born the pastry coffin. Coffin, as in coffer, meaning "box" or "case." A coffin is raised from hot-water paste, made of lard, butter, flour and boiling water, and it's not unlike the pseudo Play-Doh that you make out of flour and water: as the mixture congeals it gets firmer and firmer - fired in the oven it becomes hard as a rock.

(BTW if anyone is interested I have lots and lots of pictures of this process, having made more of these damn things than I can count - alas, they predate my acquisition of a digital camera, so I'll have to scan them before I can post them.)

So "pie" not only could be "terrine" - in a very real sense it is "terrine," because the pot made out of paste literally replaces the ditto made out of earth AKA terre. And all the variations discussed earlier obviously flow from thence.

It seems to me that this gives us a far tighter circle of etymology and evolution than we have any right to demand!

Oh - and another thing. The mention of "pighe" meaning an earthen pot reminds me that "dighe," in some form of OE, was the word for "dough."

Further investigation is warranted, methinks. :cool:

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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So what I said, with more French squiggles though. 

And perhaps just a touch more, ahem, authority, too. 

Authority? But of course. I am just a modest plodder.

One thing about pie crust v earthenware etc. Obviously the realtive economics of the two depends on the exact site in question etc. However, I would guess that in some cases a pie crust had better presevation properties or traveled better. Many of the recipes that specified 'storage' or 'travel' suggested the use of Rye flour. Not sure if this is because Rye was cheaper then wheat or if it had specific stuctural properties or if it had anti-microbiol properties. Certainly they would be less likely to fall apart during travel then crappy earthenware pots.

OE isn't Gaelic, although apprarently 'Welsh' is. :wink:

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So what I said, with more French squiggles though.

And perhaps just a touch more, ahem, authority, too.

Authority? But of course. I am just a modest plodder.

Er... which I only meant it was nice to have specific corroboration from so eminent a lexicographer as Littré.

One thing about pie crust v earthenware etc. Obviously the realtive economics of the two depends on the exact site in question etc. However, I would guess that in some cases a pie crust had better presevation properties or traveled better. Many of the recipes that specified 'storage' or 'travel' suggested the use of Rye flour. Not sure if this is because Rye was cheaper then wheat or if it had specific stuctural properties or if it had anti-microbiol properties. Certainly they would be less likely to fall apart during travel then crappy earthenware pots.

Yes, I wasn't sure either about the relative value of the earthenware. Much depends, I suspect, not only on the site but on the sophistication of the manufacture. Somehow I think of pottery as a more challenging profession than baking, though I quite realize that this may be simply because I have experience in one and not the other. Still, the making of decent earthenware vessels required somewhat specialized skill and equipment, whereas almost any farmer's wife could build a pie. (Oh! BTW another bit I forgot to mention earlier - baking a pie also required specialized equipment, as relatively few people had their own ovens. But that was what neighborhood bake shops were for.)

I would bet that rye flour made a sturdier crust - though I can certainly vouch for wheat flour coffins traveling remarkably well. One of the things we used to do, when we gave a lecture followed by a tasting, was to bring along a sea-pie and hold it aloft in mid-lecture by way of illustration - it's always fun to see people open their eyes wide in wonder at a monstrous pie being flourished in the air without benefit of any kind of dish to keep it from falling apart - then whack it in half to show the pattern of the decks inside (to further oohs and ahs). I don't think we ever, even on the longest trip, had any trouble with structural integrity.

(Once in the course of a lecture tour we had to carry a sea-pie from San Francisco - where we had spent a full day building it - to San Diego, aboard some little puddle-jumper airline; we jury-rigged a custom box, fearfully and wonderfully made, and carried it on with us. Some tense moments with the airplane's staff as I struggled to fit the thing under the seat while simultaneously trying to explain why it could not under any circumstances be checked as luggage; fortunately I got the trick of it just in time and found that my measurements had not been wrong after all. But just imagine trying to do such a thing in a post-9/11 world!)

We never made a pie with a rye coffin, because the source recipes from the late 18th/early 19th centuries didn't call for it. Haven't ever looked into why. I do know, though, that the wheat-flour crust, while heavy, is decently palatable; more so, I bet, than it would have been with rye, which needs special treatment to do justice to its flavor. So the trend may just be a by-product of the shift toward edible crusts (by that time, after all, the repertoire certainly did also include pies with crusts which were not only delicate but sweet, so obviously crust was no longer considered exclusively as a vessel for filling). It was relatively nutritious - why waste it?

Getting back to the traveling rye of the 16th, I'm sure that price and durability both played a part - for some reason, though, the anti-microbial thing seems to me less likely, if only because people weren't exactly thinking along those lines then.

OE isn't Gaelic, although apprarently 'Welsh' is. :wink:

No, no - didn't mean to suggest any such heresy - and yet it's hard for me to stomach the possibility that there's no connection at all. BTW it's quite possible that I am misremembering the origins of dighe - must hie me back to that there OED and retrace my steps. One lovely thing about it, though, I do unequivocally remember: it was the root not only of "dough" but also of the second syllable in "lady"; the making of bread being, apparently, the special province of the lady of the house.

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What I want to know is where did you find a 16th century chicken?

Remarkable longevity, those 16th-century chickens, you know - bred for it, I understand, the goal being a bird that would last almost as long as its rye coffin. And it takes a tough crust to make a tender... no, I can't say it, I just can't. But talk about having "legs"!

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prepare to be shocked.

See, it's even worse than you thought - it isn't just that I don't like cornichons with terrine. I don't like them, period. I Just Don't.

I'm less shocked at the thought of someone not liking cornichons at all, than by the thought of someone liking them without charctuerie of some kind. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Excuse my ignorace, but I had no idea what a sea-pie was. I'm as lazy as I am ignorant, but curious and fortuantely google is so much more convenient than any library. "Sea pie" covers a lot of ground as a descritption for meat under a crust or in a crust as I discovered, but I managed to find a recipe with layers of crust in the middle as well, so I can imagine yours. None of this is really of note to those who knew more than I did and I assumed it was called a sea-pie because it was food for fishermen at sea, but then I ran across this recipe for cipaille (pronounced 'sea pie'). The page goes on to say "There are also very similar pies are called cipâtes and six-pâtes." I rather suspect the Quebec dish was an attempt to spell "sea-pie" in French and the similar pies are an attempt to make sense of the name in French, but could the name have developed the other way round from six-pâtes to sea-pie?

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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When do we get started making the pâtés? I need guidance!

What do I not like about cornichons? Merely that they are not quarter-sour kosher dills.

It's funny that you should mention that, I don't like the cornichons here in France (too sweet - they make some place in my jaw hurt!) and was a rather picky pickle picker in the States. I went to St. Petersburg (Russia) recently and found myself in pickle heaven. Everywhere. They were all exactly how I imagine the perfect pickle to be and I have yearned for them since, and the pickled chives, the pickled garlic, the pickled everything else. I could just eat pickle after pickle. I have a jar of polish dill pickles which I found at an imports shop that I pull out for my side of the table when we serve pâtés and terrines, they aren't exactly there, but closer.

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