Salmagundi. I just heard this word for the first time this week, and I’ve fallen in love with it. How has it escaped my lexicon for so long?

Salmagundi is a noun that means mixture, medley, hodge podge. Wikipedia says the word “is derived from the French word salmigondis, which means disparate assembly of things, ideas or people, forming an incoherent whole.”

Remember the nursery rhyme, “Solomon Grundy”? That name is thought to have come from salmagundi.

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end of
Solomon Grundy.

Of course I googled salmagundi and learned there’s a British musical duo by this name, an art centre in Manhattan, a dish eaten by pirates (seriously…see the description below) and a delightful antique shop called Salmagundi West, located at 321 Cordova Street West, in Vancouver, BC’s historic and now somewhat quirky Gastown neighborhood. I’ve never been to this store but it’s now at the top of my must-see list next time I visit Vancouver.

Even the proprietors seem to be a perfect fit with the store’s salmagundi. [Lee uses new word in a sentence for the first time.]

Special thanks to Jasmine at Pike/Pine Street Fashion in Seattle for allowing me to use her photograph of Salmagundi West.

You’re not likely to see a recipe for salmagundi in my Friday Food for Thought posts, though, and here’s why.

“A cook might include as the basis of his salmagundi any or all of the following: turtle meat, fish, pork, chicken, corned beef, ham, duck and pigeon. The meats would be roasted, chopped into chunks and marinated in spiced wine, then combined with cabbage, anchovies, pickled herring, mangoes, hard-boiled eggs, palm hearts, onions, olives, grapes and any other pickled vegetables that were available. The whole would then be highly seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and mustard seed and doused with oil and vinegar—and served with drafts of beer and rum.” (From The Pirates by Douglas Botting)

Avast, me hearties. Ahoy, maties. Argh.

Sorry…none of those apply to this concoction, but they’re the only pirate words I know. One thing’s for sure. You’d need the beer and rum, and plenty of it, to wash down a plateful of salmagundi!

Until next time,

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