Sunday, June 6, 2010

olla podrida



1 : a rich seasoned stew of slowly simmered meat and vegetables that is a traditional Spanish and Latin-American dish

The link in definition two is courtesy of Merriam-Webster, not me. This is the first time I've seen this done. I suppose hodgepodge is an unusual enough word to necessitate a link.


\haj-paj\ noun : a heterogeneous mixture

Some others to consider: mishmash, clusterfuck, motley crue, and of course, goulash.

Goulash is formally defined as:

1) Also called Hungarian goulash. a stew of beef or veal and vegetables, with paprika and other seasoning.

2) a heterogeneous mixture; hodgepodge; jumble.

3) a deal in bridge for producing hands of unusual distribution, in which the players arrange their cards of the previous deal by suit and the dealer, after cutting the cards, distributes them without shuffling in three rounds of five, five, and three cards each.

I didn't know about the whole bridge deal, but that should probably be saved for another blog about either:

1) games, and why I usually don't play them, or
2) activities common to mid-twentieth century housewives

So we've arrived at goulash and OLLA PODRIDA—two cultural versions of the same dish that also translate to a haphazard amalgam of stuff. Is there an American version of this concept? Casserole? Dump cake? Anything one follows with the word "surprise?"

To break down the definitions, OLLA PODRIDA translates literally to "rotten pot"; one theory suggests the slow-cooking process is comparable to the time it takes for food to rot. Goulash on the other hand derives from the Hungarian word gulyashus, or herdsmen's meat. The dish was traditionally a thick stew made by cattle stockmen.

The American Dump Cake implies the dumping of a hodgepodge of ingredients into a pan and baking for thirty to forty minutes. Ingredients usually include some fruity pie filling, crushed pineapple, yellow cake mix, butter, and maybe nuts if you're feeling particularly adventurous. "Dump Cake" doesn't appear in the ordinary or urban dictionary*, but I could try and start using it as a synonym for hodgepodge.

Stumptown coffee is a total dump cake of hipsters.

Sorry, Stumptown. I adore your coffee but I have trouble drinking it in your shops.

*It's worth mentioning urban's definition for "chocolate pound cake": when an individual takes a dump in his or her hand and proceeds to give a guy a hand job

1 comment:

  1. Ok. That's something I didn't need to know.