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Aldermen In Chains

July 2024
1min read

Professor Laurence Senelick of Tufts University has solved the riddle of the menu: In answer to your query on the last page of the April, 1975, issue of A MERICAN H ERITAGE , “aldermen in chains” was a culinary nickname for suckling pigs, roasted and festooned with garlands of pork sausages. It began as an ironic reference to the annual banquets of the Corporation of the City of London, when aldermen were supposed to gorge themselves silly on turtle soup and the roast beef of old England. There may be something patriotic in the American decision to adopt this gastronomic satire of the British magistracy, but in this particular case the association of municipal politics and overfeeding seems to have been naturalized in the New World.

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