Posted by ESC on June 05, 2003
In Reply to: Question about soldiers... posted by Word Camel on June 04, 2003
: : : : : : : : : : : Can anyone tell me why we call slices of bread 'soldiers' when we dip them in boiled eggs?
: : : : : : : : : : : Thanks!
: : : : : : : : : : I have no back-up for this, but my opinion is this. The egg's irrelevant largely, because you can equally have Marmite soldiers (it's a very popular UK savoury spread for those who don't know). To turn bread or toast into soldiers, all you need to do butter a slice of bread, then further cut it lengthways 5 or 6 times. The resultant row of strips could be said to look like soldiers standing in rank on parade, all in line.
: : : : : : : : : : Personally I prefer toast soldiers for dipping into a runny egg - those bread ones are too spineless and droopy :)
: : : : : : : : : Runny egg. Marmite. Sounds yummy. I have read that Marmite is not a taste that can be acquired. You have to eat it from childhood to like it. Is that true?
: : : : : : : : : Here's a food item from my childhood in West Virginia: cornbread in a glass. Crumple cornbread in a cup or glass. Add milk. Eat with a spoon.
: : : : : : : : In my youth, in the East End of London, they were called 'fingers'. Is this still used anywhere?
: : : : : : : When we were kids my mom would soft-boil eggs, make light toast, and mix the whole mess up in a bowl with salt & pepper. Good stuff and easy to eat, even when home sick from school.
: : : : : : It's nostalgia hour, clearly. I'd still happily ask my daughter if she wanted her toast cut into fingers. I also remember the above-described concoction from my childhood, which was generally known in my family as "eggy in a mug", since it was always served in a large coffee mug for reasons that are beyond me - perhaps because it was indeed given to us when we were ill in bed, and a mug with spoon is easier for a child to deal with in that position.
: : : : : : As to Marmite, the manufacturer's recent TV campaign carries the strap line "You either love it or you hate it", and this is undeniably true. It's impossible to be ambivalent about Marmite. I've more than once convinced American friends to track down a jar of this spread, on the basis of sheer bafflement and curiosity I'm sure, and every time they've reported back to me in terms of sheer horror that anyone could actually bring themselves to eat this stuff, let alone relish it. So perhaps it is a thing one needs to acquire a taste for in childhood.
: : : : : What is Marmite made of?
: : : : I'm answering my own question: A dark brown savory spread made from yeast. Spread it on toast or in sandwiches. (BBC America) That reminds of a Woody Allen line about "alfalfa sprouts And mashed yeast."
: : : Marmite sounds like the British version of the Australian spread vegemite, in that it too is an acquired taste. Are they by chance the same thing?
: : I think they taste a bit like Guiness on toast. Actually, I used to work in the old Marmite factory in Vauxhall. It smells vaguely of Marmite to this day.
: I always thought that they were called soldiers because when you dip them in the soft boiled egg they look a bit like up turned soldiers, i.e with the big hats. No? Maybe my overactive imagination.
This all reminds me of an "I Love Lucy" episode --"Lucy Does a TV Commercial" ("Vitamaeatavegamin")