aspic

Definitions

Food

  • A savoury jelly made with the appropriate clarified stock (meat, chicken or fish) flavoured with vegetables, herbs, sherry, etc. with added gelatine if required, mainly used for decorative larder work

Publishing

  • noun
    (written as ASPIC)
    a set of codes adopted by the BPIF as standard for marking up text.
  • acronym forauthor's standard pre-press interfacing code
    (written as ASPIC)

Travel

  • noun jelly made from the cooked juices of meat, poultry or fish
  • noun a form of salad, with small pieces of cold meat, poultry, eggs or vegetables set in firm aspic jelly in a mould

Origin & History of “aspic”

Aspic was borrowed from French, where, like the archaic English asp which reputedly bit Cleopatra, it also means ‘snake’ (ultimately from Greek aspís). This has led to speculation that aspic the jelly was named from aspic the snake on the basis that the colours and patterns in which moulds of aspic were made in the 18th and 19th centuries resembled a snake’s coloration. there does not appear to be any watertight evidence for this rather far-fetched theory, and perhaps more plausible is some connection with French aspic ‘lavender, spikenard’, formerly used for flavouring aspic, or with Greek aspís ‘shield’ (source of aspidistra (19th c.)), on the basis that the earliest aspic moulds were shield-shaped.
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