Olivia Potts

Toad-in-the-hole: don’t judge a dish by its name

Crisp batter and browned sausages are the key to this childhood classic.

  • From Spectator Life

The name ‘toad-in-the-hole’ suggests something a little more whimsical (or saucy) than its reality. The origins of the name are spurious and, to be honest, a little tenuous: I’ve seen theories that the hole is a hungry stomach and the toad a ‘substantial meal’, another that suggests the dish resembles the way toads peep their heads out of burrows, and another which attributes the name to a trend in the eighteenth century for live toads to be incased in stone.

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Olivia Potts
Written by
Olivia Potts
Olivia Potts is a former criminal barrister who retrained as a pastry chef. She co-hosts The Spectator’s Table Talk podcast and writes Spectator Life's The Vintage Chef column. A chef and food writer, she was winner of the Fortnum and Mason's debut food book award in 2020 for her memoir A Half Baked Idea.


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