Did you know that cilantro leaves and coriander seeds come from the same plant, and that from an etymological perspective, cilantro and coriander are actually the same word? Can you say what dahl is, or fufu, or junket? And did you know that nachos, the beloved melted cheese-and-tortilla chip appetizer, was named after Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, the maitre d’hotel of a restaurant in Mexico, who invented the snack in 1943? Well, you do now.
You can learn all this and more in 100 Words for Foodies, a new, clever little book from the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. They’ve chosen 100 words that every foodie should know, from quahog to sancocho to bain-marie, complete with pronunciations, word histories, and definitions. It’s a lot of fun to read through and I, for one, feel smarter having done so.