it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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An open letter to Rachael Ray

Dear Ms. Ray;

While I realize that you are the famous person with a cooking show, and I am some jerk who writes science fiction novels, I feel it is nevertheless incumbent upon me to draw your attention to a shameful misappropriation of our common language, the great and flexible English tongue. I am not an afficionado of your program, but I do occasionally catch a few moments of it because it happens to be on before Alton. And I was recently shocked and horrified to hear you use the term "stoup," and then explain that it is sort of halfway between a stew and a soup.

Now. Please cease and desist from spreading this horrible, twee, and trendy miscegenation as soon as possible.

Wikipedia informs us: a stew is a common dish made of vegetables, meat, poultry, or seafood cooked in some sort of broth or sauce. The line between stew and soup is a fine one, but generally a stew's ingredients are cut in larger pieces and retain some of their individual flavours, a stew may have thicker broth, and a stew is more likely to be eaten as a main course than as a starter. There are exceptions; for example, an oyster stew is more like a soup.

Other sources discuss stewing as a subcategory of braising, which is to say, boiling or simmering of foods in liquid until tender. offers a definition based off the Random House Unabridged Dictionary:

1. to cook (food) by simmering or slow boiling.
–verb (used without object)
2. to undergo cooking by simmering or slow boiling.

5. a preparation of meat, fish, or other food cooked by stewing, esp. a mixture of meat and vegetables.

Which confirms the Wikipedia entry.

On soup, Wikipedia offers the following: The language may have shifted over time, but the modern definitions of soup and stew were established in the 18th century: soups usually are more liquid; stews are thicker, containing more solid ingredients. Stews are cooked in covered containers for longer periods of time, at a gentle boil with less water and at a lower heat.

Again, confirms:

1. a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish, or vegetables with various added ingredients.

In other words, soups are boiled, and stews are braised. Soups are liquid, and stews are not necessarily so.

Or, to put it more plainly, there's no such thing as a "stoup." Now quit it. You hurt my ears with your crazy talk.



P.S. As Alton Brown said: "Of soup and love, the first is best."

Tags: bork! bork! bork!

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