Thursday, November 10, 2022


“It has nothing to do with frogs’ legs. No amphibian is harmed in the making of this dish.”

- Nigella Lawson explaining toad-in-the-hole to an American audience.

By the way:

Toad in the hole is a traditional English dish consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with onion gravy and vegetables. Historically, the dish has also been prepared using other meats, such as rump steak and lamb's kidney.

Toad in the hole was originally created as a way to stretch out meat in poor households. The cheapest meats were used, including leftovers, stewed meats, sausages, kidneys and pigeons, and were re-cooked in batter. The dish was originally called “pigeon in a hole", there is no record of the dish ever being baked with toads substituting for the meat.

The origin of the name is unclear, but it may refer to the way toads wait for their prey in their burrows, making their heads visible in the earth, just like the sausages peep through the batter.[

There is one story which purports to explain the name, but it’s probably no more than a local legend. It’s claimed that the name Toad-in-the-Hole originates from the town of Alnmouth in Northumberland, where the local golf course was overrun with Natterjack toads. Once, during a tournament, a golfer putted his ball only for it to leap back out before an angry toad raised its head, having butted the ball out of the hole it had been sleeping in. The chef at the local hotel devised a dish to commemorate this, baking sausages in batter to appear like toads poking their heads out of golf holes.

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