MAJOLICA.

I have occasionally run across the word majolica but never had anything but the vaguest idea of its meaning (some kind of porcelain?); now, having run across it again in Abulafia’s The Great Sea, I’ve looked it up again and discovered that there are two words, or two variants of one word, with two slightly different meanings, neither of which I’ll remember five minutes after I post this, but I’ll pass it along for the general enlightenment and/or confusion. Merriam-Webster says:

ma·jol·i·ca \mə-ˈjä-li-kə\ also ma·iol·i·ca \mə-ˈyä-li-kə\ [Italian maiolica, from Old Italian Maiolica, Maiorica Majorca] 1 : earthenware covered with an opaque tin glaze and decorated on the glaze before firing; esp : an Italian ware of this kind 2 : a 19th century earthenware modeled in naturalistic shapes and glazed in lively colors

I must have known at some point that the word was from the name of the island Majorca, but I’d forgotten. The interesting thing is that the OED (in an entry updated in 2000) gives both pronunciations (in their system, /məˈdʒɒlᵻkə/ and /məˈjɒlᵻkə/) for the entry majolica, which seems bizarre; the first definition is “= maiolica n.” [“A fine kind of Renaissance Italian earthenware with coloured decoration on an opaque white tin glaze; (more generally) any tin-glazed earthenware in the same stylistic tradition, esp. Hispano-Moresque lustreware. Also: any of various other kinds of glazed and ornamented Italian ware (also called faience and Raphael ware)”] and the main definition of this spelling (sense 3) is “A type of 19th-cent. earthenware with coloured decoration on an opaque white tin (or sometimes lead) glaze, of vaguely Renaissance inspiration; (also) the technique of painting on to unfired opaque white glaze.” The etymology gives the following mind-boggling detail about spelling and pronunciation (bear in mind that their /j/ represents the y sound):

During the 19th cent. majolica was the predominant spelling, with j pronounced /dʒ/ , although maiolica also occurs (see maiolica n.). Cent. Dict. (1890) added an ‘Italian pronunciation’ with /j/ , while N.E.D. (1904) and Webster (1909) gave alternative naturalized pronunciations, with /dʒ/ and /j/ . The /j/ spelling, though not uncommon, became less frequent than the /i/ spelling during the 20th cent. in British use in sense 1, the spelling maiolica freq. being used in sense 1 (especially by art historians) contrastively with majolica in sense 3; U.S. dictionaries, however, still record the /j/ spelling and corresponding pronunciation with /dʒ/ as commoner (compare French, in which the spelling maïolique is in the late 20th cent. much less common than majolique, with corresponding pronunciation with /ʒ/ ; for the /j/ spelling compare also German Majolika, Dutch majolica).

Thank god I’m not going to be tested on any of this.

Comments

  1. marie-lucie says:

    Confusing indeed! In French I only knew la majolique, pronounced like a French word. I knew it as a type of brightly coloured earthenware, without going into the technical details, which mean little to me.

  2. rootlesscosmo says:

    Ceramics are still being produced and sold under that name. I’ve got a handsome bowl, about 16″ in diameter and 5″ deep, from Biordi in San Francisco. Excellent for serving pasta–it’s sturdy and heatproof so you can pre-heat it by ladling in some of the pasta cooking water.

  3. So that’s what it is. I’ve been hearing and seeing the word for years now, seeing as this part of the country is famous for the product, but would have never connected it with Mallorca.

  4. I’ve only ever heard ma-JOLLY-ca.

  5. I think I may have once known some of this because I wrote a translation of this site.
    The translation I wrote didn’t get used because they had somebody do it internally or something at the last minute. Whoever did it made some very odd choices if you ask me. (“Luting Shop”? There are no Google hits for this, at all, outside of the Nymphenburg site.) Oh well. I had fun learning all the porcelain-factory technical words. There were a lot of them.

  6. …and (I’m guessing this is common knowledge around here, so sorry for insulting everyone’s intelligence, but) another apparently Balearic word origin which surprised me is mayo.

  7. The Mayo Siege story smells like folk etymology to me, especially given an oft-repeated assertion that the besieged French garrison had “frustratingly poor variety of food yet an over-abundance of eggs”. Russian wiktionary boldly connects mayo to PIE *med- sort of implying “egg-middles”.
    фаянс is a common Russian term, as is майолика (with the 2nd syllable stressed), but until today I never realized that both refer to geographic locations, thanks!

  8. French sauce mayonnaise (1806), said by French sources to be corrupted from mahonnaise
    But in that case why didn’t they just go ahead and spell it mahonnaise? According to google and his maps there are lots of places in France called Mâyon; wouldn’t that be a likelier source of the sauce?

  9. Christopher Burd says:

    If I’m not mistaken, was occasionally used in older Italian orthography, with the value [j] or even [i]. It was in fact Italian that first made the / (and /) distinction, although fell out of use in later Italian.
    The author (or promoter?) of this reform was the humanist Gian Giorgio Trissino, who was also Palladio’s first patron. They don’t call them Renaissance men for nothing. He also wanted to introduce omega and variant forms of and , for obvious reasons, and had a special font prepared by the famous typographer and calligrapher Arrighi.
    Maybe this is all well known to you guys.

  10. Is Mayonnaise even a Mediterranean thing anyway? Can we do a map of where mayonnaise is most commonly used on “French” fries and superimpose the names of places called Mayon on that? Zoom in, enhance? Mystery solved

  11. marie-lucie says:

    Mayo(nnaise)
    AG, according to your source, the sauce was only mentioned in 1806 but was named to commemorate a battle in 1756, fifty years earlier? I had always heard that (sauce) mayonnaise was a variant of mayennaise (Mayenne being both a town and the surrounding region) (perhaps influenced by bayonnaise ‘from Bayonne’, near Spain).
    The TLFI (which is perhaps the “French sources” mentioned) gives the mahonnaise origin but also finds the story unconvincing because of the fifty-year delay. It also quotes another opinion which considers mayonnaise as a variant of bayonnaise.
    Many French dishes and sauces were invented in the kitchens of the nobility and named either after those people or after some celebrated event in their lives, as potentially in this case (the capture of Port-Mahon in Minorca), and the recipes eventually became known to the larger population. But those dishes and sauces were usually quite complicated and often required expensive ingredients. The fact that mayonnaise is so simple and inexpensive to make, with so few ingredients, and that the formation of the name is disputed, would rather suggest a non-aristocratic origin.
    True French mayonnaise done the old-fashioned way (as I learned to make it) is simply egg yolks and oil, but it is a little tricky to blend those two ingredients together (by hand) into a stable emulsion. Mustard can be added to start the process and keep the ingredients from separating. A little vinegar (or even better, lemon juice) can be added at the end but is not indispensable. It does lighten the colour (without it, true mayonnaise is yellow, not white like American mayo). Nowadays few French people make mayonnaise at home: they buy it readymade in tubes (like toothpaste).
    Update: Wikipedia.fr gives several possible origins, the most plausible for me being a Southern French one. The article also shows a picture of the ingredients (which suggest a complicated recipe) together with the finished product in a food processor!

  12. Christopher Burd says:

    Your blogging software ate my angle brackets, rendering my comment into gibberish. Corrected version:

    If I’m not mistaken, ‘i’ was occasionally used in older Italian orthography, with the value [j] or even [i]. It was in fact Italian that first made the ‘i’/’j’ (and ‘u’/’v’) distinction, although fell out of use in later Italian.
    The author (or promoter?) of this reform was the humanist Gian Giorgio Trissino, who was also Palladio’s first patron. They don’t call them Renaissance men for nothing. He also wanted to introduce omega and variant forms of ‘e’ and ‘z’, for obvious reasons, and had a special font prepared by the famous typographer and calligrapher Arrighi.
    Maybe this is all well known to you guys.

  13. The OED entry (updated 2001) calls it “of uncertain origin”:

    Several etymologies have been suggested. Like numerous dictionaries, N.E.D. (1906) describes it as ‘prob. feminine of mahonnais of Port Mahon, capital of Minorca, taken by the duc de Richelieu in 1756’, but the lateness of the word in French would argue against this, as would perhaps also the spelling mayonnaise rather than mahonnaise already in the earliest attestation.
    Bayonnaise (feminine of bayonnais < the name of the French town of Bayonne + -ais -ese suffix) is attested in the same meaning only two years later, and mayonnaise is freq. explained as a corruption of this word, as in the following early discussion (giving the earliest examples of the form mahonnaise and of bayonnaise in this sense):

    1808 G. de la Reynière Man. des amphitryons ii. vi. 211 Les puristes, en cuisine, ne sont pas d’accord sur la dénomination de ces sortes de ragoûts; les uns disent mayonnaise, d’autres mahonnaise, et d’autres bayonnaise. Le premier de ces mots n’est pas français; et le second indique une ville où rien n’est renommé pour la bonne chère; c’est ce qui fait que nous nous sommes décidés pour bayonnaise, dont l’étymologie est dans le nom d’une ville qui renferme beaucoup de Gourmands inventeurs, et qui, de plus, donne naissance chaque année aux meilleurs jambons de l’Europe.

    However, the French chef M. A. Carême (1784–1833) preferred the spelling magnonnaise and an etymology from French manier to handle (see manner n.), explained as referring to the method of preparation of the sauce.

  14. marie-lucie says:

    AG: where mayonnaise is most commonly used on “French” fries
    That would most probably NOT be in France. “French” fries (actually a Belgian recipe) are typically served with meat (“steak frites”), not eaten on their own (unless in American-influenced places). The only thing I would put on them is salt. Mayonnaise is served next to cold foods (cold meat, fish, veggies).
    As for Mâyon, I have never heard of this allegedly common place-name. Wikipedia.fr does not list this word among the several possible origins of mayonnaise.

  15. I like this “Bayonnaise” idea. I’m sure the proud and undoubtedly sanitary and peaceful residents of Bayonne are tired of only having given the English-speaking world 1) the word for the rather self-evident invention of a knife screwed to the end of a rifle and b) the name of a legendarily odiferous namesake city in New Jersey. Now they can possibly also pride themselves on also having provided 3) the name of a volatile and widely reviled demon condiment.

  16. Amen, m-l! Potatoes, salt, period (or end of to those Across the Water). Similarly with peanut butter, something I eat a lot of now because it’s (a) proteinaceous, and my diet is mostly protein these days, and (b) it helps me take all the pills I now need to take, oiling them nicely so they slip down while concealing the taste. Peanuts, salt, fini.
    This of course from someone whose city’s native cuisine is apparently hedgehogs.

  17. Trond Engen says:

    There’s also jambon de Bayonne. They serve hams with béarnaise, so why not mayo?

  18. Trond Engen says:

    And thinking of it, that name could well be another corruption of bayonnaise.

  19. Trond Engen says:

    When my old boss was a lad, he and his friends used to go out in the forest to shoot squirrels with a slingshot and roast them over an open fire.

  20. Rodger C says:

    I always thought the i/j and u/v distinction originated in Spain, viz. in Antonio de Nebrija’s 1492 dictionary. It makes sense, since the phonetic difference between these respective letters is unusually large in Spanish. Trissino was 14 years old in 1492.

  21. As for Mâyon, I have never heard of this allegedly common place-name.
    Look it up on google maps, as I said. I can’t link, or copy, it won’t do it. But there at least five of them there.
    Mayonnaise with french fries (chips) is a well-known (at least in Europe) Belgian snack, m-l. Nothing to do with steak. We often make mayonnaise, it’s one of the few things I can eat, although Norwegian “Mills” brand mayonnaise is significantly better than any other commercial brand I’ve tried (Best/Helmann’s etc.)

  22. Mayonnaise with french fries (chips) is a well-known (at least in Europe) Belgian snack
    Back at college (i.e. some 15 years ago), I had a roommate who nearly flunked his very last course taught by a Belgian guest professor and had to make up for it by writing some long paper or something. In the process of doing so over one long hot weekend, my roommate kept referring to the guy as “zasraný hranolkár” (lit. “shitty french-fry-er”) and had to explain it to me. Food-based insults are somewhat common in Slovak – the French are referred to as “žabožrúti” (“frog-munchers”), the Chinese as “ryžojedi”. I’ve always wondered if the Chinese immigrants have a diet-motivated racial slur for us. If they do, I bet it’s something along the lines of “potato-munchers”.
    As for mayonnaise, you are all doing it wrong. Mayonnaise is good for two thing only: potato salad and tartar sauce. The latter is served with fries, especially when served with chicken fried cheese. To hell with halušky, chicken fried cheese is the real deal around here.

  23. marie-lucie says:

    LH: However, the French chef M. A. Carême (1784–1833) preferred the spelling magnonnaise and an etymology from French manier to handle (see manner n.), explained as referring to the method of preparation of the sauce.
    Carême may have been an excellent cook, but he should not be relied upon for etymology. Manier in cookery usually refers to mixing two or more ingredients (such as butter and flort, or butter and sugar), especially through manipulating them with the hands (as in preparing some kinds of dough) and there would be no reason to use this word to the sauce in question, let alone to derive its name from the verb. Besides, a recent derivative of manier could not possibly end up as magnonnaise, even for people who pronounce gn as ny.
    One of the possible origins given by Wikipedia.fr is Magnon, in the Southeastern department of Lot-et-Garonne, which is said to have been the place where a cook first produced the sauce. But Magnon must be a really tiny village if it is not mentioned either in Wiki or Google, and the name is also known as a last name. It is the same Magnon as in Cro-Magnon, which means ‘great big hole’. Magnon is from Latin magnus ‘big, great’.
    There is a Southern French variant of mayonnaise, called ailloli or aïoli (from an Occitan word), basically a mayonnaise with garlic. It occurred to me that perhaps mayonnaise was instead an aioli without garlic!
    Sure enough, the earliest recipe is from Northern Italy, consisting only of olive oil and garlic juice. This recipe travelled along the Mediterranean, sometimes adding eggs or at least yolks along the way, or even more ingredients, in order to provide some consistency to the sauce. There is indeed a Balearic link: Port-Mahon in Minorca had two renowned recipes, with and without garlic, which probably had local Catalan names.
    So then: a form of aioli with olive oil and garlic was first made on the Northern Italian coast, from which it spread to other places, notably the Baleares, adding eggs at some point and sometimes replacing garlic juice by vinegar or lemon juice, since some acid is apparently needed to facilitate the emulsion (that’s why the traditional recipe I learned does not always turn out as expected). The French general who conquered Port-Mahon may have been served the local garlicless recipe, therefrom referred to in France as (sauce) mahonnaise. But meanwhile the garlicless sauce was also made in Southern France, hence the words bayonnaise and magnonnaise which may have been interpretations of mahonnaise connecting the word to Southern French place names, since mahonnaise looked like a derivative of a place name but did not have French connotations. A blend of these competing reformations could have led to mayonnaise, which no longer had Southern connotations. Later, the word must have been again linked to mayennaise, a word derived from another place name, Mayenne, which would have made more sense to Northern French people. But mayennaise does not seem to have ever been used as a replacement for mayonnaise.

  24. marie-lucie says:

    Trond: They [in Bayonne] serve hams with béarnaise, so why not mayo?
    The sauce béarnaise is served hot with hot meat, not cold with cold meat like mayonnaise
    And thinking of it, that name could well be another corruption of bayonnaise.
    If you mean that béarnaise could be a corruption of bayonnaise, I have to disagree very strongly with you. Le Béarn is one of the Pyrenean regions, the birthplace of King Henri IV of beloved memory. According to Wikipedia.fr, this sauce (always served hot) was invented on the spur of the moment by a chef in a Paris restaurant where there was a bust of the king, and when asked the name of the sauce he had just whipped up the chef glanced at the bust of le Béarnais and said béarnaise. The two words would sound similar if spoken by a non-rhotic English speaker (such as the typical English tourist), but are quite different in French: ba-yo-nèz vs bé-ar-nèz.

  25. I guess the PIE *mid hypothesis I mentioned is reflected in French Larousse Gastronomique (1961) and in Britannica:
    may be a corruption of moyeunaise, moyeu being an old French word denoting the yolk of an egg
    and moyeu < Lat. modiolus < PIE *mid…

  26. Carême may have been an excellent cook, but he should not be relied upon for etymology.
    Yes, I was surprised to see that rather silly etymology quoted (and implicitly taken seriously) by the OED.

  27. Trond Engen says:

    marie-lucie: I have to disagree very strongly with you.
    That is a strong statement coming from you! And I admit it was a silly suggestion. But I recalled having seen it described as a nonce formation with no connection to Béarne, so I imagined someone trying to come up with a name while having bayonnaise on the tip of their tongue. Anyway, your Aïoli trail smells good to me.

  28. bul: Food-based insults are somewhat common in Slovak – the French are referred to as “žabožrúti” (“frog-munchers”), the Chinese as “ryžojedi”.
    So I try ryžojedi in google translate, under Slovak. Nothing. I try it with “Detect language” and it says “Czech detected”, and it gives the English as… “ryžojedi”.
    m-l, I think that’s pretty impressive that you traced mayonnaise back to aioli. Of course, it makes total sense, and I’m going to tell everyone I know. You ought to be credited with this discovery. I’ve never heard anyone suggest it before.

  29. marie-lucie says:

    Dmitry: I guess the PIE *mid hypothesis I mentioned is reflected in French Larousse Gastronomique (1961) and in Britannica:
    may be a corruption of moyeunaise, moyeu being an old French word denoting the yolk of an egg
    and moyeu [is from] Lat modiolus, [from] PIE *mid

    I think that this one is the “most unlikeliest” derivation of them all. Le moyeu may have had several meanings in Old French: currently it means ‘hub’ (of a wheel). But all the examples of the word in the TLFI also refer to the centre of a wheel, and the oldest attestation (as moieus) is from 1150 : the centre of a wheel, with a hole for the axle and from which the spokes radiate. There is absolutely no reference to this word meaning ‘centre’ of anything else than a wheel.
    Even if moyeu had once meant ‘egg yolk’ (more likely simply ‘centre’, although a yolk is never called ‘centre’ in French, it is le jaune, lit ‘the yellow’), a supposed (unattested) word moyeunaise would have been very poorly formed, unless it were a reformation of another one such as mayonnaise, which as all attestations cited above show, is a relatively modern word for a relatively modern sort of food (at least within France). There is nothing in the word moyeu or its Latin ancestor that would justify the insertion of an n. As for the suffix ais(e), in all the avatars of mayonnaise listed above it derives an adjective from a place name (as also in anglais(e), français(e), marseillais(e), polonais(e) etc), not from any other word. The multiplicity of those avatars also precludes an older form moyeunaise. Finally, the oldest recipes connected with the sauce do NOT include eggs in any form.
    The Britannica quote must have been copied from the Larousse Gastronomique, which quoted a fanciful, amateurish “etymology”. Trust cooks on cooking, not on linguistics.

  30. Never ever had I heard any other derivation than the one from Mahón. And on all Spanish menus wich I read in numerous visits to Spain it said “Espárragos con mahonesa” with an h.

    For any one who reads Spanish: please read the mayonesa/mahonesa entry in Wikipedia.es.

    Not only do they give you a history of the sauce (in which it is a variant of the old Catalan/Balearic sauce alli-oli, the rich one with eggs added [cheap all-oli used to be made with just garlic and olive-oil] , which was then taken to France after the siege of Mahón, but to render it less biting for the tender french palates the French took out the garlic…), but they also describe the controversy in Spain about the mayones/mahonesa spelling (a long story), and they write extensively about the misconceptions in other countries about the origins of the sauce/word.

    [[Sorry, Marie-Lucie, I am only summarizing the Spanish Wikipedia article. You talk of Southern France and the Italian Coast, but es.Wiki has Catalonia, Aragon and Balearics as the original sources of the sauces alli-oli and mahonesa. They mention some old Catalan work in which it is already described, but of course you may well be right.]]

    I’ll copy their text on the spread in France, in which much of the suggestions and derivations you mentioned, return:

  31. For “fist scene” read “first scene”, please.

  32. In Utah, fries are served with, what else fry sauce (rather than ketchup or mayo). Supposedly invented by a local fast food chain which is closed on Sundays. Homesick missionaries may be able to mail order it, although it’s easy to mix your own from equal parts of mayonnaise and ketchup.

  33. dearieme says:

    Mayonnaise originated, of course, among the Maya of Central America, a people who were short of the sort of food animals familiar in the Old World, but who had ample access to eggs.

  34. Mixing equal parts of ketchup and mayonnaise gives you “Salsa Golf”, which the Argentines seeem to claim as an invention of their own.

  35. Frans: Certainly ketchup is the characteristic and stereotypical American daub on french fries, though there is a place up the street from me here in NYC that seems to have the proverbial 365 sauces available for it (though, as far as I can tell, no religion in particular).
    Dmitry: The article you link to says fry sauce is 1 part ketchup to 2 parts mayo.

  36. mollymooly says:

    I would hold Spanish etymologies based in Spain at a discount. I remember a Hellman’s TV ad in Ireland in the 80s deriving Mayonnaise from “Mac-Mahonnaise”, after Patrice de Mac-Mahon, a French president descended from the Wild Geese.

  37. Dear poeple. As I only occasionally stumble by, I was amazed how far you can stray from the original article. As a more technical man it´s simple to me: Majolica is earthenware with tin glaze, Fayence is earthenware with lead glaze, as on Majorca they had ample access to tin(salts) and in Florence they had lead(salts) at their disposal.

  38. So we concluded that Americans put ketchup or mustard on their fries, but no mayo… Is this true?
    In general, Americans put ketchup on their fries; I myself dislike ketchup and only put salt on them. Mayo is definitely an un-American thing to put on fries.
    I would hold Spanish etymologies based in Spain at a discount.
    Likewise.

  39. des von bladet says:

    Living in Holland I can tell you that mayo on French fries is extremely common here.
    Living, instead, in the north of the Netherlands I regret to have to remark that the commonest condiment here is “frietsaus”, which is roughly what you get if you industrially adulterate mayonnaise until you’re not allowed to call it “mayonnaise” anymore.

  40. Salsa Golf
    Thanks! And apparently in the Eastern US, the same idea is marked as Russian sauce, although of course any really Russian sauces would avoid ketchup and use copious amounts of sour cream.

  41. >Marie-lucie
    Curiously, eggs for darning made by wood are still for sale.
    As for “mayonesa”, do you know the “lactonesa”? To do it milk is used instead of eggs to avoid salmonellosis.

  42. mollymooly says:

    Fish-and-chips should be served with a wedge of lemon for the fish and plenty of malt vinegar for the chips. But if you only get tartare sauce, you are allowed to apply it to either.

  43. @des: industrially adulterate with what?
    I recall that in some parts of the UK when you order fish and chips the server asks whether you want “salt and sauce?” where “sauce” means something brown, sort of like what we call in the US “steak sauce”, or Worcestershire sauce” (what’s the difference?). I also seem to recall that in some such contexts the name for ketchup is “red sauce”.

  44. I agree with lemon juice for fish, but I still persist in not applying liquids to fried potatoes. Salt and salt alone is the active factor (PDF).

  45. Frans Koppenol: Of course at one time the Kingdom of Sicily was ruled out of Catalonia, so M-C’s trail need not be astray.
    Ø: “Brown sauce” and catsup are near cousins, both deriving from earlier SE Asian sauces (ketjap). The earlier British catsups were not made with tomato; that’s a later development and a force behind the split.

  46. Majolica is earthenware with tin glaze, Fayence is earthenware with lead glaze, as on Majorca they had ample access to tin(salts) and in Florence they had lead(salts) at their disposal.
    Well done, Henk. I hope I can remember it.

  47. Oops.

    Faience or faïence (/faɪˈɑːs/ or /feɪ-/; French: [fajɑ̃s]) is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery on a delicate pale buff earthenware body, originally associated with Faenza in northern Italy.[1] The invention of a white pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an oxide of tin to the slip of a lead glaze, was a major advance in the history of pottery. The invention seems to have been made in Iran or the Middle East before the ninth century. A kiln capable of producing temperatures exceeding 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) was required to achieve this result, the result of millennia of refined pottery-making traditions. The term is now used for a wide variety of pottery from several parts of the world, including many types of European painted wares, often produced as cheaper versions of porcelain styles.
    Technically, lead-glazed earthenware, such as the French sixteenth-century Saint-Porchaire ware, does not properly qualify as faience, but the distinction is not usually maintained.

  48. marie-lucie says:

    AJP: faïence, French: [fajɑ̃s]
    It is not your fault, but there is a problem with the placement of the “tilde”. It is supposed to be on top of the “a”, not on top of the “s”. I tried to correct it but could not. Perhaps someone else knows how to get the right transcription.
    La faïence is what most traditional plates and dishes for everyday eating are made of, while la porcelaine is “fine china”, made of a different, very fine earth called by the Chinese name kaolin (pronounced as a French word). After Chinese wares became fashionable in Europe, deposits of kaolin were discovered in France, near the city of Limoges, giving rise to a new industry. The English word porcelain seems to refer to a different variety of pottery ware.

  49. Lunettes, after all your kind comments on my blog I thought we had something special; and now I find you flirting with Hat. It’s over between us!

    “Brown sauce” or “steak sauce” is thick and sweet, unlike Worcs sauce.
    All this talk of mixing kčp with maholica, er majonnaise, reminds me of a scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High:
    “You got your sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, secret sauce.”
    “What’s the secret sauce?”
    “Thousand Island dressing. What’s the secret sauce at Bronco Burger [where you used to work]?”
    “Ketchup and mayonnaise.”

  50. Sorry, all, I’ve had to delete two batches of spam already today so I’m going to close this up. Hopefully after the move to WordPress all posts will be open all the time and we’ll never have to deal with this stuff again!

  51. “Why Is Hellmann’s Mayonnaise So Darn Good?”

    Thanks, an intriguing title and a good read:

    “The tribute to Hellmann’s is that it is so difficult for even a trained person to break down, to find the line between where one attribute stops and the other starts,” Seltsam told me. “It’s what we would call a beautifully made product. It just tastes like mayonnaise. All the flavors blend together. They’re balanced. Nothing sticks out. Everything is appropriate. … Hellmann’s is just so interwoven that tasters have a very difficult time saying anything other than ‘it tastes like mayonnaise.’ ” Seltsam compares Hellmann’s to Coca-Cola: Both are flavors that many can identify but few can describe.

  52. (I refuse to buy any other brand, and I’m not normally a brand-loyal customer.)

  53. John Cowan says:

    Me too.

    I meant to add, but forgot, that part of the second article is a discussion of whether the sauce is of French or Spanish origin, an obviously Hattic question.

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