choose your tracklement

Our local deli is offering a free jute bag if you buy three jars of tracklements from them. I never heard (or saw in writing) a word “tracklement” before. Here’s what The Concise Oxford Dictionary says:

tracklement /’trækəlmənt/ n. an item of food, esp. a jelly, served with meat. [20th c.: orig. unkn.

But, according to World Wide Words,

The English cookery writer Dorothy Hartley claimed to have invented the word, which she used for the first time in her book Food in England in 1954. She said that she had borrowed it from an English dialect word meaning “appurtenances, impedimenta”.

(I can’t say that “appurtenance” is in everyone’s vocabulary either.) Whatever the origin of the word, I can see that it is used. There even is The Tracklement Company which sells the stuff. From now on, if you can’t be bothered to ask your guests whether they prefer mayonnaise, mustard or horseradish sauce with their dumplings, just wave your hand and suggest them to pick a suitable tracklement in the kitchen. Must sound very posh.

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