The concept of giving a silly name to a clever dish or unique snack food is not completely foreign to me. I grew up eating Pigs in a Blanket, which is a hot dog wrapped in bread dough, a classic kid favorite that’s easy to make. You just buy hot dogs and pre-packaged dough that comes in pressurized paper canisters, wrap the dogs and throw them in the oven. (I personally hated waiting for the ‘pop’ as I peeled back the cardboard and would just whack the tube-o-dough on the edge of the counter to get it over with.)
It was a silly name, but it made sense…hot dogs are made from pork, aka. pigs, and the bread was like the blanket. You could even entertain your friends and family by holding one up and walking it around with it’s little piggy head poking out the top and stubby feet sticking out the bottom.
So, part of me says that I shouldn’t throw stones. However, by any standard, “Toad in the hole” is particularly silly. I thought my friend was kidding about the existence of such a thing until she showed it to me in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store. It is described on the package as ‘3 Pork sausages in a light and crispy batter’. Sausages and batter? I had to try it and if it was good, I wasn’t sharing, so I got two. After a good hearty laugh, a tasty meal and more than a few moments spent pondering the name, I find myself pleasantly full, yet thoroughly puzzled.
The encyclopedia Britannica describes a toad as: any squat, rough-skinned, tailless amphibian. If anyone knows what a Toad has to do with sausage, or light, fluffy batter has to do with a hole where one might find an elongated amphibian, I’m all ears.
And, in an obvious attempt to taunt the gods of nomenclature, for those with an aversion to toad and/or pig meat, there’s Vegetarian Toad in the hole!