Demystifying Potluck


Credit: Luke Jones

You must have used the word “potluck” and joined one yourself numerous times; it is a no-brainer. Almost everyone did, you know what the word “potluck” means?

If you are invited to a party and you’re told it’s a potluck, what are you expected to do? Bring a dish, of course.  So, why is a party or an impromptu gathering call for a “potluck”?

How the Term was Coined

The Straight Dope in the post What’s the origin of “potluck”? writes, “The current usage would lead one to associate it with the potlatch of Native Americans of the northwest, but the true origin is in the Middle Ages, in Europe.The potlatch was a big celebration — often the host would give all his possessions away. The modern notion of bringing dishes to share (in essence, giving away what you have) seems like a natural extension of this idea.”

The practice can be traced all the way up the medieval times when preserving food was a long, tedious process. Potluck is said to be done in the spirit of saving food, or not throwing any leftover.  So, leftovers are put in a pot to be kept warm and shared with others who come on short notice. It was often practiced in places such as inns and taverns. When a person shows up, the person is said to take the “luck of pot.”

[Read more…]

Please like & share:
© 2009 - Vinfo Pty Ltd. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our
Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions and Earnings Disclaimer.