The sea’s a glutton.
Just look how it’s swallowed whole
Miss Van Osburgh was a large girl with flat surfaces and no high lights: Jack Stepney had once said of her that she was as reliable as roast mutton. His own taste was in the line of less solid and more highly-seasoned diet; but hunger makes any fare palatable, and there had been times when Mr. Stepney had been reduced to a crust.
Lily considered with interest the expression of their faces: the girl’s turned toward her companion’s like an empty plate held up to be filled, while the man lounging at her side already betrayed the encroaching boredom which would presently crack the thin veneer of his smile. Wharton, The House of Mirth
It’s a very odd thing –
As odd as can be –
That whatever Miss T. eats
Turns into Miss T.;
Porridge and apples,
Mince, muffins and mutton,
Jam, junket, jumbles –
Not a rap, not a button
It matters; the moment
They’re out of her plate,
Though shared by Miss Butcher
And sour Mr. Bate;
Tiny and cheerful,
And neat as can be,
Whatever Miss T. eats
Turns into Miss T.
– Walter de la Mare
Another volcanickal Emission, whilst he grimly attacks his slice of the evening’s mutton in Tail-fat.
“Mutton Stew this evening, I’m told,” Dixon cries in a cheery Salute. The Girl shrieks, and runs off into the Kitchen.
[ … ] After the Cape custom, the Dutchman has lock’d his front door for the evening meal, which he now regards, smoldering, less predictable than an Italian Volcano.
“I see you have discovered another Cape delicacy, Mr. Dixon,” Johanna in an effort not to get into any verbal exchange with Mason, whilst her husband is in the room, “— our Malays call it ketjap.”
“Girls, don’t even want you looking at it. Filthy Asian stuff,”Cornelius commands thro’ clouds of aromatic pipe-smoke. “Even” (puff) “if something has to be done” (puff) “to cover up the taste of this food.” Another volcanickal Emission, whilst he grimly attacks his slice of the evening’s mutton in Tail-fat. Over the course of its late owner’s life, the Tail has grown not merely larger and more fatty, but also, having absorbed years of ovine Flatulence ever blowing by, to exhibit a distinct Taste, perhaps priz’d by cognoscenti somewhere, though where cannot readily be imagin’d.
— Mason & Dixon
He said “I look for butterflies
That sleep among the wheat:
I make them into mutton-pies,
And sell them in the street.
I sell them unto men,” he said,
“Who sail on stormy seas;
And that’s the way I get my bread —
A trifle, if you please.”
from the vast corpulent volumes of immortality
OED: < classical Latin nīdor a rich strong smell (from food or things burnt), fumes, cognate with ancient Greek κνῖσα , and Icelandic hniss (17th cent.). The smell given off by animal substances, esp. of a fatty or greasy nature, when cooked or burnt. Also: any strong or unpleasant odour, vapour, etc.
a1620 M. Fotherby Atheomastix (1622) Who maketh‥his Caldron, his Sensor; his Nidor, his Incense; his Table, his Altar.
1662 H. Stubbe Indian Nectar I had my smell affected with such a nidor, as issues from fat, when broiled.
1707 J. Floyer Physician’s Pulse-watch In the Nidor of the Stomach there are hot Winds.
1746 R. James in Moffett & Bennet’s Health’s Improvem. A Nidor, or Stink, peculiar to Animal Substances in a State of Putrefaction.
1923 Blackwood’s Mag. A nidor was to him an agony impossible to endure.
1994 Sunday Times The corporeal must of dead thoughts and forgotten words‥the nidor of tatty jackets and grubbily thumbed flies.
Encountered in Pynchon, Mason & Dixon:
The Rev’d holds aloft a Mango, as if ‘twere a Host. “Had I gone, I should have miss’d this. Regard how the fruit takes its shape and feel from this great seed-case within, which the Spanish call el Hueso, ‘the Bone.’ This Mango handles like flesh, — to peel it is to flay it, — to bite into it is to eat uncook’d Flesh, — though I can imagine as well uncomfortable religious questions arising.”
Mason, who has been shock’d by impieties far more venial, might have shar’d his Moral Displeasure were the Topick not Food, allowing him promptly to advert to his own Iliad of dietary Misfortune here among the Dutch. “Their emphasis upon roots, — the eternal boiling, — the absence of even salt, we have already review’d. ‘Tis the Sheep, — Heaven forfend we should ever find a Moment without Sheep in it. Sheep, where I come from, are more important than all but a few humans. A boy is as likely to learn to skate upon a Shearing-floor as upon the Ice. The smell, at some times of year sensible for Miles, of Sheep, and wool-fat, and that queasy Nidor of Lambs baking in ovens meant for bread…the very nasal Patina that met me here, upon entering my first Dutch house, of Mutton-fat vaporiz’d and recondense’d, again and again, working its way insidiously, over the years of cooking, into all walls, furniture, draperies, within a certain radius of that kitchen, — ahrrhh! How foolishly did I believe I’d escap’d these perfumes of Gloucestershire, — nay, — at the Dutchman’s Table, I am return’d to them, as to a kind of Hell.”
*see also † nidorosity, n.: Belching which brings forth an unpleasant taste or odour; an instance of this.
1696 J. Floyer Preternatural State Animal Humours The Cure of this Nidorosity, is‥by Vomiting and Purging.
1755 Johnson Dict. Eng. Lang., Nidorosity, eructation with the taste of undigested roast meat.