Hotchpotch

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

hotchpotch sometimes hodgepodge, a term which in its culinary meaning, a mixed stew, dates back to the 16th century and has an obvious connection with hotpot. It also occurred in earlier forms in medieval times, for example, the recipes ‘Gees in hoggepot’ and ‘Goos in hochepot’ reproduced in Warner (1791).

A dish of this sort, which is almost infinitely variable, naturally occurs in many places. As Marian McNeill (1929) explains, the same thing is known in Scotland as Hairst Bree (harvest broth), and ‘is made only when the kail-yard is in its prime, and the soup is fragrant with the juices of young growing things’.