Things I Don’t Understand, Part Three

Easy French Toast Recipe | In the Kitchen with Matt
inthekitchenwithmatt.com

Is French Toast Really French?

According to legend, it was created by a man named Joseph French. But it is known by a variety of names including German toast, eggy bread, French-fried bread, gypsy toast, Poor Knights of Windsor, Spanish toast, nun’s toast, and pain perdu which means “lost bread” in French. So it seems like it might be more appropriately called “French’s Bread.”

Canadian Bacon Skewer Bites
jonesdairyfarm.com

So What About Canadian Bacon?

“Canadian” bacon is made only from the lean eye of the loin and is ready to eat. The term “Canadian bacon” is not actually used in Canada, where the product is generally known simply as “back bacon,” while “bacon” alone refers to the same streaky pork belly bacon as in the United States. My guess is that most of what people call “Canadian bacon” here in the United States is not what the Canadians call “back bacon.”

Award winning Mild Swiss Cheese | Pearl Valley Cheese
pearlvalleycheese.com

And Then There is Swiss Cheese

Switzerland has approximately 450 varieties of cheese, made from cow, goat, and sheep milk. Some types of cheeses from Switzerland include Sbrinz, Emmentaler, Raclette, Formaggini, and Gala.  So the answer is no. Swiss cheese itself is not actually from Switzerland, but it is based off a type of cheese from Switzerland.

Millennials Are Putting American Cheese Out Of Business | Eat This, Not  That!
eatthis.com

American Cheese, Jeez

American cheese, the kind you get in the individual plastic wrappers, is processed cheese or “cheese food,” meaning it’s not actually real cheese. Classically, before the factory-processed stuff hit the market, American cheese was a blend, often of cheddar and colby, made for easy melting and approachable flavor. I’m quoting. I have no idea what “approachable flavor” means. As a kid, I didn’t like American cheese. Hard to believe I know. Another hard to believe thing is that the only cheese I liked was cheddar … especially very sharp cheddar. Go figure.

Belgian-Style Waffles Recipe | Land O'Lakes
landolakes.com

Belgian Waffles

Who doesn’t like Belgian waffles?

They were originally showcased in 1958 at Expo 58 in Brussels. Belgian waffles were introduced to North America by a Belgian named Walter Cleyman at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962, and served with whipped cream and strawberries. Maurice Vermersch of Brussels, Belgium is also credited with having made the rest of the world aware of them.

But are they really Belgian or simply made by Belgians? Do a lot of people in Belgium eat Belgian waffles? My admittedly meager research seems to indicate that they do. But they mostly eat them (actually Brussels waffles) in the afternoon as a snack and not for breakfast. I’ve never eaten them for breakfast either, but I have eaten them for dinner. Who needs veggies and good for you stuff all the time? I mean, really?

So What is it That I Don’t Understand?

What it all boils down to is that I don’t get why we name these things so inaccurately. But I guess if you think about it, it’s much easier to say “French toast” than “dried out two day old bread soaked in scrambled egg and fried in a pan.” Even so, I do still think it should be “French’s toast” rather than “French toast” and maybe “a cheese similar to a cheese made in Switzerland” instead of Swiss cheese. Or maybe not.

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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