Pumpernickel (1766)

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Mon Apr 29 01:03:16 UTC 2002

by Thomas Nugent
In Two Volumes
London: Edwardand Charles Dilly

Pg. 361 (Letter dated Dec. 27, 1766):
   At supper we asked for some of their bread called Pompernickel, which is really a curiosity.  It is made of rye coarsely ground, with all the bran left in it; so that it loks as black as coal.  They cut it with a hatchet from a large loaf of at least a bushel, and presented it to us on a trencher.  The name is said to have been given to it by a Frenchman travelling this way, who, when this coarse bread was brought to table, said, _Qu'il etoit bon pour Nicole_, which was the name of his horse.  This bread nevertheless is said to be very wholesome, and they begin now to use it even at polite tables, where I have seen it served up in small slices with fresh butter.

(Amazing.  OED's first "pumpernickel" is also from Nugent, in 1756.  OED mentions that the bread is not in F. Moryson's 1617 work, another book I'm reading now--ed.)

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