Gluttons Glossary – Food with a story (not just a shelf life)
A glossary of British food and drink terminology, past and present.
(A non-definitive guide (i.e. constantly changing).
This is the largest, free, online glossary of its kind (and growing)!
Click below if you can’t wait, or read on if you’d like to know a bit more about the Glutton’s Glossary:
The purpose of this glossary, apart from the obvious technical, scientific and educational function, is to encourage you to try traditional foods, to bring them back into your life, and into other peoples. Feel free to take pride in anything associated with your village, town, area or family history. Items marked with * are those which I need more information on, but contributions on any subject are welcomed.
total number of glossary entries: 1543
total number of glossary pictures: 401
date last entry added: 9th April 2013, 9:32 AM
Getting the most out of the Glossary
Camera icon: - Roll your mouse over the icon to see a picture of that particular subject. Pictures of entries are being acquired as fast as I can.
LEG number - The number in the top right corner is the ‘LEG’ (Lane’s Extinction Grading), click on it to see a definition to read a detailed grading, click on the box to get rid of the it.
Click here to learn more about this:
Archive icon: - Further information on a specific glossary entry will be indicated by the archive icon. Click on the icon to open the archive on the subject.
Country abbreviations: - In square brackets, will indicate the countries (former British colonies usually) to which the item is known to have been culturally exported e.g. [Aus-NZ-US]
Alt: - An alternative meaning of the word is indicated by ‘alt:’
Q: – Quotes relevant to the entry.
Names: - Any local, regional or national names, not mentioned in the text, will be mentioned.
Super: – Superstition linked with this entry
Research is a tricky business and I cannot claim that all the information contained in this glossary is 100% correct. However every effort is being made to verify research.
The definition of ‘traditional’
Contained within this glossary, is a comprehensive list of current, and historical and/or traditional British foods and food terms, past and present. By ‘traditional’ I mean two things:
1 – Ingredients
Firstly, the use of traditional ingredients. By being faithful to the creators we acknowledge the conditions under which the dish was created and so keep alive the historic events around which the dish came to be popular, or necessary to use. Modern ‘interpretations’ are the enemy of tradition, and are just a sneaky way of selling you something the chef wants to get rid of. It’s either traditional or it’s not.
A Welsh laver soufflé is not traditional ……………. anywhere!
2 – Cooking methods
Secondly the word ‘traditional’ is applied, not only to the ingredients but also to the cooking methods and techniques too. So any raw meat or fish (even if you like to justify it by calling it ‘rare’) is not traditional in this country and I don’t give a toss what the French do (therefore a ‘rare’ Barnsley chop is not traditional, it’s a grocery item, and fish and chips done in cooking oil is also not traditional, no matter how many awards you win).
As a general rule, if your grandfather, and his dad didn’t eat it when they were boys, then it’s not traditional, so you’ve got no chance with olive oil, tofu or pasta.
Disclaimer: Somebody had to write this glossary and it just so happens that the author is English, and a Yorkshireman. These two accidents of birth may have influenced his opinion, outlook and general disposition.
The Glutton’s Glossary is not a definitive guide, as it will always be a ‘work in progress’, ‘live’ and growing with each contribution, no matter how small, no matter where from, and I can summarise the Glossary thus far by using a famous quote:
“was written with little assistance of the learned, and without any patronage of the great” (Samuel Johnson)
Please let me know if you have any additions that you think deserve to be in this glossary, and also feel free to send background information, on any subject, such as history, origin of names, local names, ingredients, recipes, special occasions, pictures, videos, old footage, songs, poems, traditions (local or family), personal anecdotes, etc. Those item headings which carry a star are subjects on which I especially need more information, but please offer comment on any subject. All information gathered on traditional food and drinks will be archived and made available to researchers via the archive pages, accessed by clicking on the button icon.