Chopped herring is a dish best eaten...

By  those who have grown up eating such a delicacy; that's my judgment, anyway. Am listening to Evan Millner, who does all sorts of good and useful work but specializes in teaching Latin and Greek. He is doing a series of podcasts whilst in 'isolation' during the plague (don't ask me my opinions about the plague-induced nonsense, please); lives in Portsoken ward of the City of London. Such a wealth of historical survivals there! Wards and ward-motes and yeoman bedels, and bounds-beating and the Liber Albus.

In any event, this particular podcast ("Covid Diary 4 and an Analytical Bibliography of Neo-Latin": I haven't yet made it to the analytical part) featured in its first part Evan's recipe for chopped herring. Herring in oil, chopped apples, chopped onions, and then citric acid crystals which add the flavor of lemon juice, I guess, without adding more liquid to the dish. Other people, he said, will add bread crumbs. (Hard-boiled egg is a frequent addition, I see looking about on the Internet, from which I also learn that this is historically a Jewish foodstuff.) 

Seeing photographs, I think my initial mild distaste has resolved into a more tolerant, 'if it's there of course I will eat it' sort of attitude. Tuna salad with a bit of difference.


Thursday, St George's Day. I return to this because I finally understood what EM was talking about when he said what I now know to be headborough. I listened again and then had recourse to Wikipedia and to the Oxford English Dictionary. Have stripped out the hyperlinks. I seem to be unable to change borsholder and tithingman etc out of their rather nauseous green shade.

1. In Anglo-Saxon and later medieval England: the chief member of a tithing or borrow (borrow n. 3) in a system of frank-pledge (frank-pledge n.). Later: a parish officer having the same role and function as a petty constable. Cf. borrow-head n.1, borsholder n., tithingman n.1


He's now talking about genetic diversity in the Italian peninsula and how this may or may not have affected the historical progress of the pronunciation of the Latin language.