Word for Wednesday: Chutney

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for August is condiments.

condiment is added to food to enhance its flavour. The word has been used in English since the mid-fifteenth century and comes from the Latin ‘condire’ meaning ‘to pickle’.

Over August we’ve looked at the words mustardketchup, mayonnaise, and sriracha. Our final condiment for the month is chutney.

Chutney is a spicy condiment of Indian origin that has been eaten since 500 BCE. It is made from fruits or vegetables cooked in vinegar, spices, and sugar. Unlike pickles – known in India as ‘achar’ – chutneys are often freshly prepared. Chutney became popular in England in the eighteenth century and by the nineteenth century chutneys that were catered to Western appetites – usually made from fruit, vinegar, and sugar – were shipped from India to Europe. Today, fruit chutney is an indispensable item on a cheeseboard.

The word has been word used in English since 1813 and comes from the Hindi ‘chatni’ meaning ‘to lick’.


31 Aug 2022
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