A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 07, 2007
Pooch (puchera/puchero?)

"Pooch” was a cowboy stew of tomatoes, sugar, and bread. The name probably comes from the Spanish puchera or puchero, meaning a stew. However, more historical citations are needed; “puchero” usually contained more ingredients, such as meat. There is no question, however, that “puchero” was a well-known term in Mexico.


Google Books
Cowboy Lingo
by Ramon F. Adams
New York: Houghton Mifflin Books
2000
1936 (original copyright)
Pg. 145:
“Pooch” was the name of a dish made of canned tomatoes, sugar, and bread.

Google Books
American Thesaurus of Slang
by Lester V. Berrey and Melvin van den Bark
New York: Crowell
1953
Pg. 847:
pooch, a dish made of canned tomatoes, sugar, and bread.

Google Books
The Cowboy Encyclopedia
by Richard W. Slatta
New York: W. W. Norton & Company
1996
Pg. 142:
Even the greenest cook could whip up a batch of “pooch”—stewed tomatoes mixed with bread and sugar.

Google Books
Dictionary of the American West:
Over 5,000 Terms and Expressions from Aarigaa! to Zopilte
by Win Blevins
Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books
2001
Pg. 84:
POOCH (tomatoes, bread and sugar).

(Dictionary of American Regional English)
pooch n [Prob. Span puchera, puchero stew] West
A dish consisting of canned tomatoes, sugar, and bread.
[1885 Outing 5.412 Mexico, First there was vermicelli soup, then a palatable kind of stew called puchera, heaped on a large platter, and composed of meat, maize, beans, carrots, gourds, and a variety of other vegetables.]
1936 Adams Cowboy Lingo 149, “Pooch” was the name of a dish made of canned tomatoes, sugar and bread.
1939 Rollins Gone Haywire 137 MT, The only feasible menu, in addition to gallons of coffee, seemed at the moment to be beans, “sow belly” (bacon), “pooch” (a stew of canned tomatoes, sugar and bread) {etc].

24 September 1927, Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, WI), pg. 2, col. 3:
DIALOGUE OF COWBOYS
GREEK TO STRANGERS

San Angelo, Tex.—(AP)—A dictionary would be about as worthless as a song in a hurricane to a New Yorker trying to find his way around the ranch country of the west.

Cowboyese, the dialect of the ranges, is as intricate and snappy as New Yorkese and changes almost as rapidly. Some of the terms used in the pioneer days have come down unchanged through the years, but other influences—mainly that of the cavalry in which most of the cowhands fought in the world war—are apparent in the dialect.

What would a native of New York’s East Side do if confronted with a conversation like this:

“The top screw mounted his cutting horse, and, followed by a group of chuck eaters, started to trail a bunch of cattle. The corral rope was on his saddle, next to the sougan, and as he placed a brain tablet in his mouth, his mount began to swallow its head and soon turned the pack.”
(...)
“Pooch” is the name for the dessert of the cowboy on the range. It contains tomatoes, bread and sugar. When dished out to the “chuck eaters” it was with the remark: “Your pay is raised.”

Making of America
Title: El puchero; or, A mixed dish from Mexico, embracing General Scott’s campaign, with sketches of military life, in field and camp, of the character of the country, manners and ways of the people, etc. By Richard M’Sherry.
Author:  McSherry, Richard, 1817-1885.
Publication Info: Philadelphia,: Lippincott, Grambo, 1850.
Collection: Making of America Books

(Oxford English Dictionary)
puchero
Also puchera.
A composite dish of beef or lamb, ham or bacon, and vegetables, cooked as a stew.
1841 [see GARBANZO].

A Journey from London to Genoa, Through England, Portugal, Spain and France
by Joseph Baetti
The Third Edition
In Four Volumes
London: T. Davies
1770
Volume Three
Pg. 228: 
By good luck the man of the venta had his pochero ready; that is, a mess of garvanzos (chick-peas) baked to a pap in oil, and seasoned with garlick, onions, and pepper, besides an ample dish of salt-fish also fried in oil, as butter cannot be the produce of this gravelly soil.

Travels in Spain in 1797 and 1798
by Frederick Augustus Fischer
Translated from the German.
London: T. N. Longman and O. Rees
1802
Pg. 206: 
The Spanish bill of fare is confined almost to the following dishes: 1. Olla or puchero, consisting of beef, various kinds of vegetables, bacon, and sausages (chorizos) all boiled together: the gravy is eaten first as soup.

Historical and Descriptive Narrative of Twenty Years’ Residence in South America
by W. B. Stevenson
in three volumes
London:  Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green
1829
Volume One
Pg. 340: 
The inhabitants of Lima have many dishes peculiar to the place. The Spanish olla podrida, called puchero, is found almost on every table: it is composed of beef, mutton, fowl, ham, sausage, and smoked meats, mixed with cassava root, sweet potatoe, cabbage, turnips and almost any vegetables, a few peas, and a little rice--these are all well boiled together, and form the
standing family dish: bread or vermicelli soup is made from the broth. 

Rambles in the Footsteps of Don Quixote
by the late H. D. Inglis
Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard
1840
Pg. 13:
On half-hour I employed in executing judgment upon the mosquitos (Pg. 14—ed.) that had tormented me during the night; another, in chatting with a dark eyed damsel of the inn, who was engaged in preparing the ingredients of the puchero, and in helping her to strip the garbanzos, the large peas so indispensable to a Spanish kitchen; but as it would yet be many hours before the puchero could be ready, I took my hat and walked into the street, where, in a strange town, there is always something fresh to be seen.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, January 07, 2007 • Permalink