Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On Carving

From Samuel Orchart Beeton's Etiquette for Families (1876):
A great deal of the comfort and satisfaction of a good dinner depends upon the carving. Awkward carving is enough to spoil the appetite of a refined and sensitive person. No matter how well the meats may be cooked, if they are mutilated, torn and hacked to pieces, or even cut awkwardly, one half of their relish is destroyed by the carver. Formerly in England there were regular teachers of the art of carving and Lady Mary Wortley Montague confesses that she once took lessons of such a professor three times a week. Besides the annoyance and mortification of bad carving it is a very extravagant piece of ignorance, as it causes a great waste of meats. In the seventeenth century carving was a science that carried with it as much pedantry as the business of school-teaching does in the present day; and fr a person to use wrong terms in relation to carving was an unpardonable affront to etiquette. Carving all kinds of small birds was called, to thy them; a quail, to wing it; a pheasant, to allay it; a duck, to rembrace it; a hen, to spoil her; a goose, to tare her, and a list of similar technicalities too long and too ridiculous to repeat.
  • allay a pheasant
  • barb a lobster
  • break a hare
  • chine a salmon
  • culpon a trout
  • disfigure a peacock
  • dismember a hen
  • display a quail
  • fin a chevin
  • fract a chicken
  • frush a chub
  • gobbet a trout
  • lift a swan
  • mince a plover
  • rear a goose
  • sauce a capon
  • scull a tench
  • side a haddock
  • splat a pike
  • splay a bream
  • spoil a hen
  • string a lamprey
  • tarne a crab
  • thigh a pigeon
  • thigh a woodcock
  • transon an eel
  • trench a sturgeon
  • tusk a barbel
  • unbrace a mallard
  • unjoint a bittern
  • unlace a coney
  • unlatch a curlew
  • wing a partridge
You're welcome. (carving terms via)

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