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 ellipticalsheep’s tail, and combinationsheep’s tail fat honey, see quotation 1912.
1785G. Forstertr. ofA. 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.
1806Gleanings 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.
1827T. PhilippsScenes & 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.
1829C. RoseFour 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.
1838J.E. AlexanderExped. into Int.I. 16I forced myself to eat of their dishes, swimming as they were in sheep’s tail fat.
1838J.E. AlexanderExped. 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.
1849E.D.H.E. NapierExcursions 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’ inCape 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.
1887A.B. EllisS. Afr. Sketches 6The usual way-side meal of greasy mutton-chops floating about in a liquid sea of sheep-tail fat.
1888D.C.F. MoodieHist. of Battles & AdventuresI. 215They did not take kindly to mealie bread and pumpkin fritters, even when fried in sheepstail.
1891H.J. DuckittHilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 170Rub the piggie all over with butter (or sheep-tail fat), and set it in a hot oven.
1899G.H. RussellUnder Sjambok 188The illuminations consisted of some half-a-dozen candles made from sheep-tail fat, and stuck at intervals round the wall.
1912S. Afr. Agric. Jrnl June 790 (Pettman)An absolutely white honey..it 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.
1927C.G. BothaSocial 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’.
1949L.G. GreenIn 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.
1979Heard & FaullOur Best Trad. Recipes 94One of the chief cooking joys of our great-grandmothers and their great-grandmothers before them, was sheeptail fat.
1988F. WilliamsCape 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.
1989J. Crwys-WilliamsS. 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.
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