99% Food, 1% Skin

The Language of Food, The Butcher and The Baker

What a neat book!

It was full of surprises, and moments of “geeking out” from our linguist author Dan Jurafsky.

I was expecting a book about the evolution of terminology and language usage on menus in restaurants, and potentially boring.

Instead, it contained interesting history of food (the origin of ketchup, macaroon and sherbet for instance), and findings from academic linguistic research (apparently, the more words on the menu about where food comes from, the higher price we pay).

There were geek-out moments such as the relationship between the physical movement of our mouths during word pronunciation and our perception of sweetness or amount of carbonation.

Explanations were given to why Chinese traditionally did not have dessert, and the transformation in the usage of “entrée” for different culture.

The topics were very specific, and the book barely wet my appetite for wanting more information.

The language of food is highly readable and quite a page-turner; it offered a very different perspective on food than many other sources or from my education.

I loved that I learnt something new in almost every page, and it meshed well with the geeky side of me.

Looking forward to more books from Dan Jurafsky!

We were in need of a place near Green Lake for a meet-up, and I remembered reading about the Butcher and the Baker.


A cozy cute little square space, tables were set for communal gathering, with a long bench along the window side.

On the near end was the counter to order sandwiches with the “butcher” part selling their own cured meats; the far end was where “the baker” part of the business nested in with a refrigerated case showcasing pies, cheesecakes and cookies; lastly, the side with the kitchen, busy churning out delicious soups and sandwiches.

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Soup of the day was French onion, and, one of the best one I had for a while!

Awesomely strong beef broth flavored heavily with black pepper with the sweetness of the onions came through hand-in-hand.


My experience was cheese-free, and I loved it!

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DH and I both enjoyed our sandwiches: I had the French Polynesian with house-cured pork leg, guava mustard and mango relish, very tropical.

The fruitiness worked really well with the salty ham in the soft, buttery and sweet brioche — oh-so-good.

All the sandwiches came with unusual sides: spicy peanuts and pasta salad (sun-fried tomatoes and capers), certainly much healthier options than fries.

DH had the Lucky duck.

Built on a French baguette, the sandwich had layers of tender duck confit, fennel, ginger aioli and sweet pickled jalapeno.

Different flavors lurked out subtly from the sandwich every bite, but at times, they felt muted.

All in all, a solid spot for sandwiches.

The Butcher and the Baker on Urbanspoon

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