Friday, May 27, 2011

Firewater Friday - Chalk and Cheese

‘As different as chalk and cheese’, a saying as distinctly British as bad teeth and Benny Hill. 


It’s a common phrase across the pond . . . but what does it mean to us Yanks?  It’s the same as saying ‘as different as night and day’ and ‘like apples and oranges’ . . . which is to say, two things couldn’t be more different.

There’s no arguing that the phrase is English in origin.  What is in question is the how the expression began.  I’ve tracked down the three most common supposed sources. 

The first dates from the 14th century.  According to this explanation, there was a dishonest merchant trying to pass off chalk for cheese.  At the outset, it would seem incredible that someone could actually mistake the two undoubtedly different products.  That is until you take into account that many unaged cheeses are chalk-like in appearance.  So it is possible that a gullible customer may accept the substitution.  However, one would think that there is no way they could be so naïve as to not be able to tell the difference when they sampled it.  

The first explanation is the oldest but it is believe that the origins of the phrase can be traced back to Wiltshire, England.  

Much of the farmland around Salisbury Plain is chalky in nature and suitable for sheep grazing.  

While other areas nearby have lush green pastures are the cattle are raised and cheeses are made.  When the farmers came to market to sell their goods they never mixed . . . they were like chalk and cheese.

It’s noteworthy to mention that Salisbury Plain is the location of Stonehenge.

Frozen Mudslide

4 Cups Crushed Ice
2 Jiggers Vodka
2 Jiggers Coffee Flavored Liqueur
2 Jiggers Irish Cream Liqueur
2 Tablespoons Chocolate Syrup
1/2 Cup Whipped Cream

In a blender, combine crushed ice, vodka, coffee liqueur and Irish cream liqueur. Drizzle in Chocolate syrup. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with whipped cream.

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