freekeh (FREE-kah) — noun: wheat harvested when still green and then roasted.
I feel like it makes me sound obnoxious if I say that I enjoy a menu more when it teaches me new words. Regardless, I have to admit that I feel no shame in bringing my iPhone to the table and using it to make sense of what’s been laid out before me. And I especially like seeing how the dictionary definition differs from how the server explains it. For example, soubise. Says the internet: “A béchamel variant whose velvety texture benefits from the pungency of onions.” Says the server: “It’s white sauce.” And I really like catching the restaurant dressing up simple fare in fancy terms. — haricots verts used for plain old green beans, for example.
Freekeh, as a word, manages to make wheat more interesting — a little lusty, a bit weird, sort of scary, a skosh threatening. I can’t comment on the taste, because my life has so far been freekeh-free, but my superfreak friend Kristen’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal tells me that freekeh offers either a smokier or grassier flavor than that gutterwheat you’ve been eating all this time. I trust Kristen — a sort of culinary guinea pig over at Food52 who consequently has a lot of guilt about eating guinea pigs now — and now I feel bad for not knowing about freekeh sooner. You know who has known about freekeh even longer than Kristen? Arabs. Culinary up-and-comer though freekeh may be in the Western world, it’s not a new dish the cuisines of Egypt, the Levant or the Arab Peninsula, according to Wikipedia. It can also be known by the name farik — literally “rubbed” in Arabic, as a result of the thrashing process it undergoes — which seems like an alternate transliteration of the original Arabic. That one’s only sexy if you interpret it as an extremely affected pronunciation of freak. And I do. Mostly because I know it actually means “rubbed.”
Previous words of the week after the jump.
- acné excoriée des jeunes filles, adulterine, ageusia, ambeer, anosmia
- barrack, beeturia, bissextile, bloofer, breastsummer, brinicle
- catholicon, cecaelia, cephalophore, cherpumple, chilver, chyron, cockernonnie, collywobbles, coprolalia, couvade, cranberry morpheme, crwth, culaccino, cummingtonite
- darkle, deasil, decussate, deuteragonist, dingbat, dingle
- eidolon, epeolatry, epopt, espalier, etui, exoterica
- fabiform, Feghoot, fissilingual, Föhnkrankheit, folderol, froward
- gallinipper, gnaborretni, grandgore, grue, guilloche, gyaru
- hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, hobson-jobson, hogo, honorificabilitudinitatibus, hoyden
- ignivomous, iracund, isabelline, itaiitai, izod, izzard
- jabroni, jamais vu, jehu, jumentous
- kaffir, kakopygian, kayfabe, knipperdollin
- lagniappe, leman, lemniscate, limnovore, linsey-woolsey, longicorn
- malacia, malison, maroon, milt, mongo, mooncalf, morepork, muzjiks
- narrenfreiheit, nef, nihilartikel, nobiliary particle, nosism
- ochanee, ogonek, ombré, ooglification, orchidectomy, ordured, orf
- pace, padiddle, pareidolia, pavonated, perendiate, perigee, petrichor, pettifogger, pettitoes, phlegmagogue, pismire, pixilated, pogonip, pong, pruniferous, puggle, pulveratricious, purse
- quacksalver, quagga, qualtagh, quidnunc, quiff
- ronion, roynish, rubirosa, rumpsprung, runcible
- salmagundi, scrutator, seneschal, sharrow, shebang, sinople, slampadato, slubberdegullion, stan, stevedore, suovetaurilia
- tappen, teratogenesis, tergiversate, tetromino, thagomizer, thon, tiffin, tittery-whoppet, tmesis, toby, tutoyer, tyro
- ucalegon, ultramontane, umiaq, umquhile
- veneficial, verdigris, vespertilionine, vinegeroon
- weeaboo, widdiful, williwaw, witzelsucht, wooper looper
- xenodocheionology, xyster
- yazoo, ypsiliform, yoink
- zanjero, zenzizenzizenzic, zinnober, zugzwang
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