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Word of the Day – Saturday, October 15th



Word of the Day


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TOQUE (tohk)

1. Tall white hat worn by chefs

2. A woman's small round hat

Common clues: Chef's hat; Brimless hat; Close-fitting hat; Chef's topper; Knitted cap; Plumed velvet cap; Brimless woman's hat

Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

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Video: Justin Bieber Learns Some Pook Toque Styles

A toque is a type of hat with a narrow brim or no brim at all. They were popular from the 13th to the 16th century in Europe, especially France. Now, it is primarily known as the traditional headgear for professional cooks.

A toque blanche (French for "white hat"), often shortened to toque, is a tall, round, pleated, starched white hat worn by chefs. The many folds on a toque blanche are believed to signify the many ways that an egg can be cooked. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats.

The toque most likely originated as the result of the gradual evolution of head coverings worn by cooks throughout the centuries. Their roots are sometimes traced to the casque a meche (stocking cap) worn by 18th-century French chefs. The colour of the casque a meche denoted the rank of the wearer. Boucher, the personal chef of the French statesman Talleyrand, was the first to insist on white toques for sanitary reasons. The modern toque is popularly believed to have originated with the famous French chefs Marie-Antoine Carême and Auguste Escoffier.

In Canada, toque, or tuque, is the common name for a knit winter hat, like a watch cap or stocking cap. The word is pronounced /tewk/ whereas other kinds of toques are still pronounced /tohk/ in Canada, as elsewhere. This usage was assimilated from Canadian French tuque much later, and is first attested in writing around 1870.

This fashion originated when the coureurs de bois, French and Métis fur traders, kept their woollen nightcaps on for warmth during cold winter days.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Toque".  

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