Chiffonading out of the closet

I was going to tweet this but Twitter is being a pain in the ass this afternoon, so I thought I’d open it up here instead:

Chiffonade: What the fuck?

It’s time for the debate to come out of the comments. Is it a verb? Is it a noun? How do you use it? Do you use it at all? Can you chiffonade something or be in the act of chiffonading, or do you have to chop into a chiffonade? Should I just save the keystrokes and stick with “chopped” and “hacked”? Do things like this keep you up at night the way they keep me up?

So I pose this to you, because in the end, the readers know all (like what modal is – thanks, Cori!).  Chiffonade: The hell?

29 thoughts on “Chiffonading out of the closet

  1. Based on the amount of trouble a chifforobe caused in To Kill A Mockingbird, I’d counsel extreme caution with your chiffonade.

  2. Apologies for even implying that you do not use the language properly. Not the intent. May have been a message.

    Your alternatives “hack” or “chop” do not accurately describe what you are doing and may/may not affect both the look and taste of the recipe. How about julienne?

  3. chiffonade is a noun
    the ade part is a noun suffix that denotes that an action was taken.
    Similar words include escapade, renegade etc.

  4. Congratulations on creating yet another provocative blog….

    My very final words on the subject–I read your blog to read what you communicate and laugh hysterically. I do not spend any time worrying about whether any of your sentences are perfectly grammatically correct–although we agree that ending sentences with prepositions will definitely raise both eyebrows–nor does it impact how I rate your blog. I suspect most, if not all, of your readers feel the same.

    Jenertia had it right above. So, if the word “chiffonade” is causing you so much pain, find another word to end the pain. I know that I wish I had never risen to the bait to discuss it in the other post.

    Life is too short!! This discussion is standing between me and a glass of wine–a very dangerous position. So have a good weekend Michelle and everyone on the blog!!

  5. jenertia, hah.

    michele, i’m not sure hack does not accurately describe what i do. (also, i never thought that you were questioning my facility with language. this whole thing just amuses me to no end, so i harp on it. i’m irritatingly tenacious like that.)

    natalie, i’m doing it. and if anyone wants to make a federal case out of it, i’m telling them natalie told me it was okay.

    ryan, thanks for the lesson! i like to know exactly what rules i’m disregarding.

    janice, word.

    michele, just as you read it, know that that is how i write. i do not write it to create grammatically correct sentences; it’s just a happy accident, a byproduct of my need to complain about whatever it is i’m complaining about at the time.

    also, i submit that this discussion would be MORE interesting after a glass or 4 of wine. for example, i just had a very strong margarita and i’m already VASTLY more amused.

    if people rated my blog on grammar (or spelling – dead god, thank god brian is a good proofreader), i’d be in big trouble. i start a great many sentences with “and,” and even *i* hate that.

    toylady, i’m scared to follow that link.

    everyone, know that the chiffonade debacle is not actually causing me any pain. also, chiffonade debacle is the name of the forthcoming EP from my new wave math-core jam band.

  6. “if people rated my blog on grammar (or spelling – **dead god**, thank god brian is a good proofreader)”

    Chuckle. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you chiffonade or make a chiffonade or julienne or do whatever other fancy knifework you wish. (personally, I’m a fan of hack and chop) But that’s a great freudian slip.

    (**or was that intentional? If it was, that’s even funnier.)

  7. You rock. I have no fucking idea what chiffonade means, but I’m going to use it in a sentence at work on Monday.

  8. To hell with the word….this: “chiffonade debacle is the name of the forthcoming EP from my new wave math-core jam band” is what got me excited. I’m lifting my cell-phone in the air toward the computer and am ready to rock this bitch.

  9. If in fact my ninth grade grammar teacher, Miss Schure (or, as we all called her, Bucky) were still alive, she would (a) be about 150 years old and (b) she would insist that chiffonade be used as a noun. Therefore, because she was such a pain in the ass, the word must be used as a verb at all times, just so the old bat spins in her grave! Oh God, now I feel an overwhelming compulsion to diagram a sentence. This is what I get for mentioning that dear, sweet woman (yes, I am attempting to appease the spirits, lest she come back to haunt me).

  10. I think it’s the past tense that’s tricky. I think you can make a chiffonade, and I think you can chiffonade something, but I don’t think you can “have chiffonaded”. That’s all I have, and I’m a consummate grammar nazi.

  11. @ Ryan : Chiffonade is a noun, but not in the same way as a renegade. It’s a french noun, taken as it is. Chiffoner, in french, means to … wrinkle, but not exactly, you will “chiffoner” a piece of paper and thus make a ball out of it.

    So a chiffonnade is something that has been wrinkled, the ade suffixe in that context means that the action of chiffonner has been made and the result is what you are refering to.

    Culinary speaking, though, I have absolutely no idea what it means ;)

  12. I say it’s a verb, but also sometimes a noun. that’s how I use it, anyhow. However, I myself have never been to college, and sometimes I make words up that only make sense to me. So take my opinion with a grain of chiffonaded basil leaf.

  13. Greetings Michelle! I wanted to update you on my attempt to make your Chicken and Bean Mojo Chili recipe. I made this last week, and I strictly followed your instructions. Everything went well. The steps were easy to follow, and I didn’t get out of sorts (as can be the case with me in the kitchen). I must thank you, because that dish was FREAKING AWESOME!!! My hubby and I both LOVED it. By the time we had scraped every bit of goodness from our bowls, our bellies were full and happy, and we were glowing from total foodgasms!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. You are Wyle E Coyote……sheer freaking genius!!

  14. Good morning Michelle–

    Two comments: 1–Just for the record, I start with a glass of wine…. What happens from that point varies from day, moment etc….

    2. Ally’s comment above raises another question. If we want to engage you on a archived recipe, do you want to post it on the archive or at the bottom of a current post? That probably sounds like a stupid question to experienced bloggers, but I am new to the game.

  15. y’alls are crazy but awesome.

    re: recipe questions, post ‘em wherever the hell you want, i don’t give a shit and don’t know if there’s a protocol. i see ‘em all regardless. ally, glad you liked the chili!

  16. Chiffonade is one of those words which can be used in several ways. Technically, it means to cut into fine ribbons, and in school they told us that it comes from the French for ribbon. Don’t know; Spanish is so much more useful than French in the kitchen that I never bothered with French. And I’m now employed again, yay! Fine dining again.

  17. brian, i’ve made my decision, so i’m bowing out of this. i’m using it as a verb, and if it offends you, be offended. if it does, i’ve probably already said something else that offends you anyway.

    congrats on the job! what is it?

  18. Chiffon doesn’t mean ribbons. It means rag or cloth. But the verb chiffoner, means to take a piece of paper and smoosh it in a ball. The resulting ball, by extension, would be chiffonade, though no one ever says that, we just say a ball of paper.

    I’m not making this up! This is all very true!

  19. Chiffonade is a noun to me because the first thing I think of, upon reading it, is not the fancy shredding of herbs, but that creepy-ass spammer who was making the rounds of the food blogs a year or two ago. Do you remember her? With the 500-pound biker boyfriend who may have had brain damage? That was her name, so that’s where my mind goes.

  20. OK this post came up when I googled “chiffonaded” because when I tried to find out how to use the word in the context of kale, finely chopped or…, I could not figure out how to get it in the damn tense correct. it all sounded wrong. i think because it is wrong. Anyway, I think I love you. Your blog is hilarious. Just hopped over to bookmark the new one.

  21. Pingback: Recent observations. | oh that meredith

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