The Dark Millennial History of Souse


  • William Sayers Cornell University Author



Souse, pickling, Caribbean, slavery


The name for souse, a still popular dish in the Caribbean and composed of pickled pig’s parts, is traced via Old French to Old Low Franconian, the Germanic dialect of the invading Franks, and at a further remove to Proto-Germanic *sultjo- ‘brine’. Always a humble constituent of English diet, souse was an important food-stuff for enslaved Africans in the English colonies of the Caribbean. The American port of Boston is a likely source for the pickled pork packed in casks and filled with apple cider vinegar.

Author Biography

  • William Sayers, Cornell University

    William Sayers is associated with the graduate program in medieval studies at Cornell  University and writes on early north-western European languages and literatures, with a particular interest in the transfer of culinary techniques and terminology among cultures.


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Notes and Short Reports

How to Cite

The Dark Millennial History of Souse. (2024). Petits Propos Culinaires, 128, 12-16.