or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Middle-Aged Spread

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about "cretons" and bemoaned my lack of success in discovering the etymology of the word. Jim dug a little deeper, and here's what he came up with:

This fellow was just as interested as you. He found it was originally gratton: Le mot viendrait soit de creton (désignant un morceau de lard frit, du néerlandais « kerte » : entaille) ou du verbe gratter (qui nous renvoie au francique kratton)

The word (gratton) became creton (meaning a bit of fried animal fat from the Dutch "kerte": notched) or from the verb "scratch" gratter which came from the Frisian(?) kratten.

So grattons (something scratched together) becomes cretons (yummy pork bits.)

I got lost a couple of times because pain de cretons (Creton Bread) kept getting in the way. That's when bread is tossed in the bottom of the fry pan to soak up extra fat and then given to the dogs as a treat.


And as soon as I heard that it was related to "gratter", "to scratch", I knew that this dish was all somehow tied up with "pork scratchings", which is what the British call deep-fried pork rinds. And then I also realized that this must somehow (and I am not sure how, and uncharacteristically don't care) be tied up with scruncheons, which are also fried pork rinds.


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