Chop suey, hush puppies and Boston beans: Origins of weird food names


Here's how some foods got to be called what they are

(WYTV) – There are some weird names for food out there. Here’s how some of them got to be called what they are.

Who doesn’t like a fried dough ball — called the hush puppy? But how did it get that name?

An old Southern legend says the name came from hunters and fishermen, or cooks who would fry cornmeal. Maybe something left over from coating their food that they fed to their yelping and hungry dogs — to “hush the puppies” during cookouts or fish fries.

Baked beans and Boston have been together since the time of the Puritans of New England.

Cooking was forbidden on the Puritan Sabbath — sundown Saturday to sundown Sunday. The Puritans would get large pots ready early on Saturday, then bakers would stop by the house, pick up the pot and return it Saturday night, full of hot beans and brown bread and fish cakes on the side. It would last through the Sabbath.

This led to a huge baked bean business in Boston that still thrives today.

Pass the chop suey — that traditional Chinese dish, right? Nope — it’s thoroughly American.

Chinese cooks invented it in the 1880s while workers built the Union Pacific Railroad out west. They mixed together vegetables and pork or chicken, and called it chop suey, which means “odds and ends” in Chinese.

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