SIPPING AND SAMPLING

New activity – Eat There or Be Square McKinney Food Tour

We always enjoy a good food tour and this month we were lucky to go with our Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano on a Food Walks of Texas tour in downtown McKinney on the square. Tour leaders always make or break a tour and ours was a definite “make it.” He called himself Tall Paul (and yes, he was). With his amazing memory, he was able to regale us with interesting historical facts and figures as we ate our way through the day. A couple of items we found particularly fascinating were the story of the origin of the name Squeezepenny, Texas (wouldn’t you love to live in a town named Squeezepenny?) and the mystery behind a tiny little door, big enough for a mouse to get through, on the bottom outside of a shop on the square.

We stopped in seven places, where we sipped gin martinis, guava infused mojitos and a delightful drink called a Beehive that was a marguerita with jalapeno salt on the rim and sampled a sandwich with peach chutney, a Cuban sandwich, pork and bacon, a fresh oyster on the shell, pie, cookies and truffles.

We stopped in seven places, where we sipped gin martinis, guava infused mojitos and a delightful drink called a Beehive that was a marguerita with jalapeno salt on the rim and sampled a sandwich with peach chutney, a Cuban sandwich, pork and bacon, a fresh oyster on the shell, pie, cookies and truffles.

Don’t expect to eat dinner when you’re done with this tour! (Although embarrassingly enough we eventually did.)

Learning Center

The story behind the origins of the word “quiz” is so good that we really wish it was true – but it probably isn’t. Legend has it that a Dublin theatre-owner made a bet that he could introduce a new word into the English language within a day or two (the amount of time differs in different tellings of the story), and that the people of Dublin would make up the meaning of the word themselves. So, he wrote the nonsense word “quiz” on some pieces of paper and got a gang of street urchins to write it on walls across Dublin. The next day everyone was talking about it, and it wasn’t long before it became incorporated into everyday language, meaning a sort of “test”, because this is what the people thought the mysterious word was supposed to be. According to the telling of the story recorded in Gleanings and Reminiscences by F.T. Porter (written in 1875), the events of this humorous tale unfolded in 1791, and this is where the story becomes less convincing. The word “quiz” was used earlier than this date, to refer to someone who is eccentric or odd (hence the word “quizzical”); it was also the name of a yo-yo-like toy popular in 1790. That said, it’s still difficult to find a compelling explanation for the origins of this word, so perhaps there is an element of truth in this excellent story after all.

If you had to introduce a new word in this way, what would it be?

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1 Response to SIPPING AND SAMPLING

  1. Helene Stangel says:

    Awesome tour. I couldn’t remember the names of restaurants or food glad you did!

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