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WATCH: Etymology Lessons With Mark Bittman On Today

Human recipe Wikipedia Mark Bittman (no, seriously, he has several volumes of a cookbook series entitled How To Cook Everything) stopped by The Today Show this morning, and, while demonstrating how to make “an excuse to eat butter and sugar,” he also tipped us off to the etymology behind “shortbread” cookies.

First he explained that, despite its name, shortbread is, in fact, a type of cookie — always has been. And the “short” part refers to how it’s basically made of fat. Matt Lauer was confused about why short meant fat, but Mark simply dismissed it as some ye olde English thing. We’re guessing it’s a reference to shortening, but we’ll check back over our Seamus Heaney Beowulf paperbacks from Brit Lit I to be sure. (#LitNerdJokes)

Mark goes on to make shortbread cookies of both the sweet and savory persuasion with varying degrees of fance. “Paper towel and poppy seed,” for example! (That food stylist is getting fired.) He even calls Matt out on his food foe, and makes a coconut-lime one just for him. (Don’t offer Lauer coconut. Ever.)

Check out the clip below.

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