sheep’s tail fat, noun phrase

Also sheeptail fat.
Fat rendered down from the tail of the fat-tailed sheep (see fat-tailed sense a) and used for culinary or other purposes; tail fat. Also elliptical sheep’s tail, and combination sheep’s tail fat honey, see quotation 1912.
1785 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 298He shewed himself a perfect master in the art, stewing it (sc. the bird) in a quantum sufficit of water, and a little sheep’s tail fat.
1806 Gleanings in Afr. (anon.) 59When they leave their master’s house in the morning, they are provided with some bread, and sheep’s tail to supply the place of butter.
1827 T. Philipps Scenes & Occurrences 100All the game of this country is so dry that it requires plenty of sheeps’ tail fat...Sheep’s tail fat is useful for many purposes — lamp oil, frying fish; and salted and dried it eats like the best bacon...The tail weighs in general from four to six pounds.
1829 C. Rose Four Yrs in Sn Afr. 257There was one dish that haunted me during the journey — an abominable mixture of Sheep’s Tail-fat and sheep’s head.
1838 J.E. Alexander Exped. into Int. I. 16I forced myself to eat of their dishes, swimming as they were in sheep’s tail fat.
1838 J.E. Alexander Exped. into Int. I. 28The people are perhaps like African oaks — they soon come to maturity and soon decay...That horrid sheep’s tail fat clogs the wheels of the machine.
1849 E.D.H.E. Napier Excursions in Sn Afr. II. 14A grand and substantial supper..seasoned with sheep’s-tail fat, and washed down with a ‘soupje’ (dram).
1859 An Old Campaigner in Cape Monthly Mag. V. June 342An old cracked pot held a vile greasy mixture, called sheep’s tail fat, with which Tim imbued sundry thick slices of toasted bread.
1887 A.B. Ellis S. Afr. Sketches 6The usual way-side meal of greasy mutton-chops floating about in a liquid sea of sheep-tail fat.
1888 D.C.F. Moodie Hist. of Battles & Adventures I. 215They did not take kindly to mealie bread and pumpkin fritters, even when fried in sheepstail.
1891 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 170Rub the piggie all over with butter (or sheep-tail fat), and set it in a hot oven.
1899 G.H. Russell Under Sjambok 188The illuminations consisted of some half-a-dozen candles made from sheep-tail fat, and stuck at intervals round the wall.
1912 S. Afr. Agric. Jrnl June 790 (Pettman)An absolutely white almost immediately solidifies to the consistency of vaseline. In this state no one would imagine it to be anything but pure lard. It is known amongst the Boers as Sheep tail fat honey.
1927 C.G. Botha Social Life in Cape Col. 57In 1799 a gentleman recorded that the ‘English cookery has in a great measure banished the delicious ragouts sent up in a sea of sheep’s tail fat which usually was the sauce for every dish’.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 15The people who were not Boers were Hottentots, and this servile race spoke kitchen Dutch, wore nothing but a skin kaross and rubbed themselves all over with sheep-tail fat and buchu.
1979 Heard & Faull Our Best Trad. Recipes 94One of the chief cooking joys of our great-grandmothers and their great-grandmothers before them, was sheeptail fat.
1979 Heard & Faull Our Best Trad. Recipes 95Sheeptail fat came in abundance from fat-tailed sheep.
1988 F. Williams Cape Malay Cookbk 83Rille gebak: These rich sweetmeats, like heavy dough-nuts, are distinctively diamond shaped...In the past, sheeptail fat would have been used instead of oil.
1989 J. Crwys-Williams S. Afr. Despatches 20De Zuid-Afrikaan..(kindly referred to in The African Journal as ‘the “Dutch drop” in the Literary Ocean — that chronicler of small beer and sheep’s tail fat’).
Fat rendered down from the tail of the fat-tailed sheepfat-taileda and used for culinary or other purposes; tail fat. Also ellipticalsheep’s tail, and combinationsheep’s tail fat honey, see quotation 1912.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary