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#152697 - 12/26/05 07:26 PM This is not a food thread  
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Father Steve Offline
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As I labour in the spice mines of East Indian cooking, I have come across a curious one, made of a resinous gum extract from the rhizomes of a palm tree. It has a strong and bitter taste but, when cooked with other ingredients, produces a flavour a bit like onions and/or garlic and with the nose of a truffle. Some sources call it asafetida and others asafoetida. Why? And which is better?

#152698 - 12/26/05 08:01 PM Re: This is not a food thread  
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Te Ika a Maui
Quote:

As I labour in the spice mines of East Indian cooking, I have come across a curious one, made of a resinous gum extract from the rhizomes of a palm tree. It has a strong and bitter taste but, when cooked with other ingredients, produces a flavour a bit like onions and/or garlic and with the nose of a truffle. Some sources call it asafetida and others asafoetida. Why? And which is better?




You didn't mention its awful odour?! Call it hing (heeng) - it's much easier to say, and the name will be more easily recognisable to most Indians, should you discuss your culinary creations with them. Interestingly, some Brahmins will not eat onions or garlic, and use hing as a substutitute. A friend from Poona informed me that hing "helps you fart less", and it is true that one of the main reasons for its use in Indian cooking is as a digestive aid. Its preparation and use are discussed at some length in this thread from somewhere lese:
http://bollywhat.com/forum/index.php?topic=6884.0

#152699 - 12/27/05 01:43 PM Re: Teufelsdreck und merde du diable  
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From the taxonymic nomeclatura Ferula asafoetida. The variance is probably due to the same reason that some write foetus instead of fetus. The extra panache the old Latin diphthong gives. (/Oj/ over /i:/ ~ /E/.) The etymology of the Persian asa 'resin' and Latin foetida 'fetid'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#152700 - 12/29/05 01:26 AM Re: Teufelsdreck und merde du diable  
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It strikes me as passing odd that (1) a Persian bit would be grafted onto a Latin bit to make an English word and (2) that anything designed to be eaten would contain the word/root for "stinky."

On second thought, I think there was a children's book years ago called something like "The Stinky Cheese Man."

#152701 - 12/29/05 01:29 AM Re: Teufelsdreck und merde du diable  
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Te Ika a Maui
Quote:

It strikes me as passing odd that (1) a Persian bit would be grafted onto a Latin bit to make an English word and (2) that anything designed to be eaten would contain the word/root for "stinky."




For asafoetida NOT to contain the word fetid would be gravely dishonest, imo.

#152702 - 01/16/06 05:34 AM Re: Teufelsdreck und merde du diable  
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Quote:

It strikes me as passing odd ... that anything designed to be eaten would contain the word/root for "stinky."




I believe the English name for petai (Parkia speciosa) is stinking bean. I find them revolting and the name well deserved, but this page seems to find them something of a panacea http://www.mail-archive.com/permias@listserv.syr.edu/msg13282.html. For pictures and general culinary information see: http://www.asiafood.org/glossary_2.cfm?wordid=3295


Bingley
#152703 - 01/16/06 02:08 PM Re: Teufelsdreck und merde du diable  
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It strikes me as passing odd ... that anything designed to be eaten would contain the word/root for "stinky."

FS, do you not eat stinky cheese? Thats what folks commonly call blue cheeses.

#152704 - 01/17/06 06:21 AM Re: Teufelsdreck und merde du diable  
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Father Steve Offline
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Actually, I do eat a variety of strongly odored cheeses but I don't think I ever referred to any of them as "stinky."


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