Tuesday, 13 May 2014


Flickr: Tim Parkinson 

In the first of our Historic foods feature, we take a look at the age old argument; Numble or Umble pie? This issue caused quite a debate here at the Select Lincolnshire office, so an investigation was called, and here are the findings...

Umbles are the meaty parts of a beast's pluck; the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs, usually of a deer but also of other animals.

It is not at all clear whether the phrase "to eat humble pie" which as we know means "to be very submissive" is connected, other than in the sound of the words, to Umble Pie. There is some speculation that Umbles were a lower-class food, so anyone who ate a pie of them was a humble and inferior person. This also could hold true today, as we hold offal in disdain and sell it off cheap, but kidneys, tripe and the rest were sometimes thought to be amongst the best bits. Contradictory, huh?

"Umble" appears to come, via Norman French, from the Latin "lumb" meaning "loins", whereas "humble" comes from "humilem" meaning "lowly".

What conclusions do you draw from this?

We want to hear from you! Do you have any historic food stories for us? Maybe an old Lincolnshire recipe, or an old war food legend. Contact Loryn Good with your historic food facts! Email loryn.good@lincs-chamber.co.uk

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