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A short word on shortening

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A short word on shortening

oldunc | Aug 15, 2011 06:28 PM

I usually avoid commenting on vocabulary, spelling etc. on online forums; among other things, you're doing the writing, it's your language to use as you please. However, it strikes me that the word "shortening" is in the process of passing from our lives, with no substitute in sight, and I felt I should come to it's defense.
Shortening is a general term for any fat mixed with flour to create a "short" dough (as opposed, I would guess, to the long, stretchy feel of bread dough)- think short bread, short pastry etc.. Though Crisco adapted the description "vegetable shortening" for their product years ago, and became associated with it like kleenex is with tissue, it does not specifically belong to that product- margarine is just as much vegetable shortening. Other examples of shortening are butter, lard, and possibly somewhere crankcase grease- I've even used avocado.

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