A culinary quiz

We are approaching the end of the Civil Year, I have it on authority. In the once holy but now frivolous space between Christmas and “New Year’s” (really the Octave of the Nativity), and on the eve of the eve of MMXVI, I am resolved to provide something light and insubstantial.

You see, I was rooting in a closet for some other book, or books, and fell instead upon The Diner’s Dictionary, by John Ayto (Oxford, 1993). And tucked inside it were my notes for “a culinary quiz,” which I vaguely recall having administered to the upstairs customers of the late lamented Beverley Tavern, in Queen Street West, twenty years ago.

My plan is to transcribe them.

Each of the twenty dishes listed below has a misleading name. Some are euphemisms, some dysphemisms, some imaginative similes, and so forth. None are quite what they say. In each case gentle reader (or auditor, as was formerly the case) must answer: What is it really?

And as it is so wet to give the answers upside down at the foot of the page; and as there is anyway nor foot nor page in the Internet; I will reserve the answers until tomorrow. But by way of false encouragement, I will meanwhile provide for each question, an irritating little clue.


1. Alaska Strawberries? … (The answer is musical.)
2. Angels on Horseback? … (As opposed to Devils.)
3. Beef Olive? … (Something of a lark.)
4. Bombay Duck? … (Was it just a reflection?)
5. Bullock’s Heart? … (An ingredient in Lamb’s Wool.)
6. Financière? … (You might say they’re eating crow.)
7. Fragrant Meat? … (Don’t ask the waiter.)
8. Golden Buck? … (Or, Buck Rabbit.)
9. King Rabbit? … (Hot to trot.)
10. Lassie? … (Not another Chinese delicacy.)
11. Love in Disguise? … (But other reasons to blush.)
12. Maid of Honour? … (Anne Boleyn was the maid.)
13. Polecat Pie? … (More properly, Fidget Pie.)
14. Prairie Oyster? … (Not a cure for hangover.)
15. Rock Salmon? … (Close relative to Rock Eel.)
16. Scotch Woodcock? … (Inspired by the Welsh.)
17. Shoofly Pie? … (If Pennsylvania Dutch don’t bother you.)
18. Spotted Dick? … (To say nothing of the dog.)
19. Toad-in-the-Hole? … (You could try pigeons.)
20. Zuppa Inglese? … (Yes it translates, “English soup.”)