January 14th, 2007


Atlets again

Thanks to hairyears and cataptromancer, we've figured out what atlets are. The spelling isn't the most common variant on the word which is what held me up - and there were too many variant spelling possibilities, I figured, to go wading about in the options.

In this particular case, atlets are an assortment of roast, skewered meat, the skewers probably arranged into some elaborate form, say, by sticking them into a large loaf of bread in decorative array. They are "atlets of palates", furthermore, and while this may mean the cook is skewering animal tongue, it's equally likely that it means exactly what it says, and the cook is using palates - probably from a large animal, like a cow.

The word comes from a dense little family of related variants. Many of the words may, in fact, be used to mean the same thing, even as kebab can refer both to the skewer and to the skewered meat.

haslet - The heart, liver, and other edible viscera of an animal, especially hog viscera. (Chiefly used today in the Southern U.S. [Middle English hastelet, from Old French, diminutive of haste, roast meat, spit, perhaps from Latin hasta, spear, or of Germanic origin.] (from the American Heritage Dictionary and Dictionary.com Unabridged, by way of here)

attelet - A slender skewer, usually ornamented at the top, used decoratively, especially in serving garnishes. [French, variant of hâtelet, from Old French hastelet; see haslet.] (from the American Heritage Dictionary, by way of here)

hatelets or atelets sauce - A sauce (such as egg and bread crumbs) used for covering bits
of meat, small birds, or fish, strung on skewers for frying.(from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913, by way of here) There's a recipe for hatelets (the sauce) in George Augustus Sala's The Thorough Good Cook from 1896.

Those are all forms of the word attested to in English. Hastelet also yields a number of results in French, including that "hastelets des lapereaux", or skewers of rabbit meat, were served to Marie-Antoinette in 1788. The French form was also used by an Italian cookbook Le Re dei Cuochi, or The King of Cooks, published anonymously in 1885. The cookbook includes several recipes for Hatelets, including this one.
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