Following in Sarah's good footsteps, this week we'll present food words that are more oddball. Credit to Paul Dickson
deaconing - the practice of putting the best-looking food on top, as putting the most attractive berries on the top of the basket
Reminiscent of Ambrose Bierce's definition:
albedo - the spongy white tissue on the inside of the rind of citrus fruit.
I'd take it then that in (say) a lime, the rind is limited to the outer green surface; the white beneath that green, but above (supposedly) edible fruit, is the albedo. So when you peel a lime, you're removing both rind and albedo.
Albedo has further meanings, which I'll leave for discussion.
I had always thought this was the pith of the fruit, so I looked in the Food Dictionary that sarah mentioned and found: pith The soft, white, somewhat bitter, spongy layer that lies between the outer peel and the flesh of a citrus fruit. I did not, however, find albedo listed in this dictionary!
Today's word names something more commonplace.
runnels - the grooves or runways on a carving board or platter, which channel the juices of the meat
More generally, a runnel is rivulet or brook; or a narrow channel or course, as for water. In the dictionaries I find only this general definition, not the specific food-definition that Dickson provides as above.
gemel (the g pronounced as in gemini) - a set of cruets for oil and vinegar, fused together, with spouts diverging so that either can be poured without the other.
I cannot find a more gemel graceful to display than this one. But perhaps this, with interior/exterior cruets, would be called a gemel.
In general the dictionaries omit this cruet-definition, and define gemel only as an adjective meaning "paired" or "twinned", particularly in heraldry.
I have used "zest" to refer to the outer green surface of the lime (more commonly it's the yellow of a lemon). Thus by peeling I would mean removing the zest and the albedo/pith, both together comprising the rind. Yes?
No one's yet commented on the title of this thread.
bromatology - a treatise or essay on food
And on a light note, here's a non-dictionary "word":
funistrada — a nonsense food name created for in a 1974 preference survey, along with 375 real foods, to use as a control to see if those taking the poll were paying attention. Funistrada was rather well liked: the survey-respondents reported that they preferred funistrada over eggplant, instant coffee, apricot pie, harvard beets, canned lima beans, grilled bologna, and cranberry juice. They did not give so high a ranking to buttered ermal or to braised trake.
quote:Interesting question, haberdasher. I believe that the "zest" is the outer portion of the "rind"; for example, when you take that little tool (now I can't remember the name) and scrape off the outer covering of the rind to add flavor to a cake or mousse, or whatever, you are removing the "zest", not the "rind" in its entirety. The "rind" is the outer hard portion of the fruit, according to the definitions I read, so it would seem not to include the "albedo/pith". I would see the "albedo/pith" as that white, spongy, stringy part of an orange or lime. Before this, I had not heard of "albedo", though.
However, I may be completely in left field.
(Laughing here)...Kalleh, that little tool that removes the zest from citrus fruit is called...(drum roll please)... a zester!
To add to the information about pith, I learned this in a recipe for Orange Beef. It said to remove the zest, without the bitter tasting pith, from an orange.
Two common concepts, but one or perhaps both the words are unfamiliar:
sneeze guard – the clear plastic or glass shield over salad bars, etc. Knowing the name, will you ever be able to see this shield without having the image that its name brings to mind?
semese – half-eaten
I'm dubious about "semese," for I find it in only in Dickson's word-book (and in one on-line word-list -- which appears to have taken it from Dickson). It has no other google hits, except as a name, etc. Time for an OED check.
I. semese, a. - rare.
[ad. L. semes-us, f. semi- + esus, pa. pple. of edere to eat.]
1859 FARRAR Julian Home vii. 86 They're sons of gyps and that sort of thing, who feed on the semese fragments of the high table.
[L. albedo whiteness; f. alb-um white.]
2. A white structure, tissue, or material (Webster 1934); spec. the white pith of the inner peel of citrus fruits.
OED2 © 1989
Some may know the word dyspeptic: having a bad digestion (also, irritable, morose, gloomy). But after a fine meal, one might enjoy the sensation of that word's more-more-obscure antonym.
eupeptic – having good digestion; also, of cheerful disposition
Thus each word's literal meaning has extended to a figurative meaning.
Albedo was featured in AWAD (A Word a Day) on May 21, 2001:
albedo (al-BEE-doh) noun
1. The fraction of light reflected from a body or surface.
For example, earth's albedo is around 0.39.
2. The white, spongy inner lining of a citrus fruit rind.
[From Late Latin albedo, whiteness, from Latin albus, white.]
"The more powerful magnetic fields generated by the Sun during maximum activity are known to block many of the particles, which would theoretically lead to less cloud cover and less reflection, or a lower albedo."
James Glanz, Scientists Find Way to Gauge Earth's Glow, The New York Times, Apr 21, 2001.
"We don't need to tell you that oranges are full of vitamin C. But did you know that the white membrane under the skin, called the albedo, contains almost as much C as the flesh of the fruit itself?
Myra Kornfeld, Giving Thanks, Vegetarian Times (Stamford, CT), Nov 2000.
Some of the most interesting, unusual words describe everyday things. Who would have thought that this fleshy, spongy, white thing inside an orange had a word for itself... and that it would share it with astronomers? Or that it would have the same ancestor as the words for an egg part, a photo book, or smearing of a canvas? What all these words have in common is whiteness or albus, Latin for white. Albumen is egg white, an album is a book with white pages, and when we daub a sheet of paper, we de-albus it.
I first heard albedo just a few years ago and it was used in the reflected light sense. The second definition seems to say that the albedo is part of the rind.
The following definitions are from Oxford Reference Online:
The white pith (mesocarp) of the inner peel of citrus fruits, accounting for some 20–60% of the whole fruit. It consists of sugars, cellulose, and pectins, and is used as a commercial source of pectin.
(From A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition in Food and Nutrition
This resource says it’s part of the inner peel, which implies that there is an outer peel.
Here are two definitions of rind:
skin, peel, zest, integument; Botany pericarp.
(From The Oxford Paperback Thesaurus in English Dictionaries and Thesauruses)
outer layer, peel, skin, husk, crust, integument, epicarp.
(From The Oxford American Thesaurus of Current English in English Dictionaries and Thesauruses)
Epicarp and exocarp are synonyms.
The fruit wall, often with 3 distinct, layers, endocarp, mesocarp, and outer exocarp.
(From A Dictionary of Plant Sciences in Biological Sciences)
If the rind is the pericarp, it must include the albedo (mesocarp)
One source defines epicarp as flavedo:
(From A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition in Food and Nutrition)
The coloured outer peel layer of citrus fruits, also called the epicarp or zest. It contains the oil sacs, and hence the aromatic oils, and numerous plastids which are green and contain chlorophyll in the unripe fruit, turning yellow or orange in the ...
(From A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition in Food and Nutrition)
To sum up, botanically, the rind is the pericarp (or fruit wall; peri- = around, -carp = fruit) and includes the endocarp, mesocarp and exocarp ( or epicarp; endo-, meso- and exo- = inner, middle, and outer).
Albedo is a culinary term, not a botanical one. It seems to be the inner peel of the rind, while the outer peel is the zest or flavedo, but there is conflicting information.
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary gives another definition of albedo:
A white area of the retina due to edema or infarction.
[This message was edited by tinman on Mon Jun 30th, 2003 at 23:26.]
I've never heard this definition of pith before. Botanically, pith is the central core of tissue in a woody plant stem (sometimes in roots).
Erin McKean, in her book, notes some interesting points about this word:
I copied Ms. McKean faithfully, but Tinman's spelling appears to be the correct one.