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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

recently I read again Stephen Clarke's amusing book "1000 Years of Annoying the French".

As he states the Britons introduced beefsteaks to the French. I always wondered why the French call them "bifteck(s)"...

At cooking school our class teacher told us once the steak had been invented by American Indians. He explained that tribes living on bisons (animals which I only know from Nordhorn's zoo) had been very meticulous about making use of each part of this aninmal.

According to him the idea of roasting a steak was introduced to European cooks by homecoming English seafarers. Until then Europeans loved to roast either whole animals or at least pieces which were just as big as possible... and when the meat was eligible, everybody just wanted to get a proper, juicy chunk...

Is that story true or is it just another proof for the traditional popularity of Native Americans in Germany?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Language is subject to constant change.

For example the word "hardware" is nowadays used for computer hardware.

Indeed "hardware" is an old word. Still that doesn't mean computer hardware could already exist as long as the word "hardware" does.

Native Americans did really dismantle bisons more carefully than white hunters and they would put each and every part to good use.

By the way, the early Germans were exactly like Native Americans (until the Romans came) and I wouldn't underestimate them.

You know, nowadays German newspapers write a lot about the Euro crisis... I never forget who anticipated this crisis more than a decade ago. It was a wise Navaho lady at a Blackfire concert in Münster. She said the introduction of the Euro would cause hunger and riots in Europe. When she told me I laughed. Now I see photographs from Greece every day and I see she was right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Let me rephrase:

Who invented the beefsteak?

The caption mentioned only steak because the cooks I know always mean beefsteak when they just say "steak" (instead of salmon steak or pork steak or whatever) ...

The word "beef" (and this is what my question is about) is of French origin. It was added to the English language after William the Conqueror had taken over England. As we all know he considered himself a "Norman" but still he spoke not "Old Norse" but French. (Just like my old buddy Franck.)

So "beefsteak" is clearly not "Old Norse". By the way, "Old Norse" was the Germanic language. It is the ancestor and source of all Germanic languages including... German. Small wonder "steak" in its original meaning has survived in my native language. Being Germans we added of course an "umlaut": Stück. A "Stück" is merely just a piece (of something). As Panini implied (Thank you for that) a Stück could as well be a piece of one of you guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We wouldn't have potatoes or tobacco if it wasn't for seafarers who imported these goods from the Americas. Also the first settlers from England only survived because American Indians (the very ones whose hairstyle I recently made mine too) introduced them to corn... I can very well imagine they knew which part of the muscles of a bison was especially tasty. (By the way, I always liked "Uncle Ray" in the TV series "Walker, Texas Ranger" and I also liked Steven Seaguls "The Patriot".)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello Luc, that's very interesting. Thank you.

By the way, one of the reasons why I once decided to become a professional cook was the wish to emigrate to Canada (or otherwise Australia). I had been told German cooks had good chances to find work there.

It didn't work out that way but I had Canadian teachers later on when I worked in an International call centre for an English helpline. So I know already that one can learn a lot from Canadians.

Well, actually I just wondered who established the idea to cut out a certain piece of meat in order to fry it separately.

It is all about a certain piece of meat.

Maybe the Sioux called it Charlie and the Cheyenne called it Merkel or whatever.

However, linguistics are interesting too and I learned a lot already.
 
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