"Artisanal gefilte fish." ...

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu May 29 00:09:44 UTC 2014

Lary, try sable, n.1.:

1. a. A small carnivorous quadruped, Mustela
zibellina, nearly allied to the martens, and
native of the arctic and sub-arctic regions of
Europe and Asia. Also Russian sable, Siberian
sable. In Middle English the animal and its fur
are called also martrix sable, martryn sable, after Old French martre sable.
      The American sable, Mustela Americana,
native of the arctic and sub-arctic regions of
North America, is now regarded as a geographical
variety of the Old World species. The red or
Tatar sable is the Siberian mink, Putorius sibiricus.
1423   Kingis Quair clvii,   The bugill, draware
by his hornis grete; The martrik sable, the foyn?ee, and mony mo.

Perhaps smoked Russian sable is what the Jews of
Eastern Europe ate -- transportable from the
Arctic after smoking, and inexpensive, like the
cheap (in two senses) smoked cod sent from New
England to the Portuguese fishermen -- a taste
brought to America in the great migrations of the turn of the 20th century.


At 5/28/2014 07:55 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>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

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

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