Toad in the hole

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

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. I confess, I don’t find any of these hugely convincing, In its earliest incarnation it was simply referred to as ‘meat boiled in a crust’ (a strong contender for ‘least