Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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olio an interesting culinary term which enjoyed wide currency in English in the 17th and 18th centuries, and indeed for much of the 19th century too. It comes from the Spanish olla and Portuguese olha, both of which derive ultimately from the Latin word olla, meaning a pot. The English language also adopted, as far back as the 16th century, the Spanish term olla podrida, which literally means ‘a rotten pot’ (i.e. exactly the same as the French pot pourri) and in practice refers to a stew whose liquid element may be served as a soup separately from the meat and vegetables which it contains.