"Artisanal gefilte fish." ...

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 28 23:55:33 UTC 2014

On May 28, 2014, at 6:18 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> ... an oxymoron?
> The Subject line (without the ellipsis) is the first sentence of the
> article "Everything New is Old Again / Jewish-American deli food is
> suddenly the rage, as younger cooks mix tradition and reinvention",
> by Julia Moskin, NYTimes, May 28, D1/1.
> On the other hand, I am gratified to see the illustration with its
> revival of sable and whitefish, plus two preparations of salmon --
> all favorites of my aunt in 1950s Manhattan.
Sable was always my favorite, but we used to call it "chicken carp" in my family.  Not in the OED, and I'm not sure if the sable(fish) listed there is what Joel and I remember.  (At least I never thought of it as being an Indian fish, but the entry doesn't mention smoked versions.)  Anyone else know from chicken carp, artisanal or otherwise?

SABLE, n.4
An Indian fish; = hilsa n.   Usually sable-fish.

1810   T. Williamson E. India Vade-mecum II. 154   The hilsah, (or sable fish,) which seems to be mid-way between a mackarel and a salmon,..is, perhaps, the richest fish with which any cook is acquainted.
1846   J. T. Thompson Dict. Hindee & Eng.,   Iléesh..the Hilsa or Sable.
1883   F. Day Indian Fish 34   An anadromous shad termed ‘Pulla’ in the Indus,..‘Sable-fish’ by the Madrassees,..[and] ‘Hilsa’ or ‘ilisha’ in Bengal.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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