"nothing like the wonderful burgoo I was treated to at the Talbot Tavern!"
I was trawling through some old posts and found a short string mentioning burgoo, and above is a quote from one of Mark's postings praising the burgoo of Talbott's.
I fancy myself an amateur food historian and usually I can figure out, if not the exact origin of a dish, at least the country it likely came from. E.g., clearly (New England) cobblers and grunts were English regional foods, the names may have changed along the way but I reckon cobblers are known in some remote town still in Yorkshire, England or one of the Shires..
But I can't figure out burgoo. Since it is a kind of stew, as I write this, I am wondering now if it is a variant spelling and pronunciation of the French, "ragout", meaning stew. Lots of French trappers must have tramped through Kentucky before settlement occurred. Could the old French ragout have been corrupted into "burgoo"? Words often get turned around a bit and this sounds plausible to me. The word burgoo doesn't sound English, Gaelic, German, or American Indian. Where the heck did it come from? (Everything comes from somewhere, at least in part). Does anyone know, or have another theory of the origin of this word? I have had burgoo occasionally in Kentucky and enjoyed it a lot. Some of the older posts speak of bourbon being good to add to burgoo, which sounds like a positive notion.
My problem with a French origin theory is, why would burgoo only be known (if such is the case which I think it is) in Kentucky? The French explorers went all over North America and left plenty of French place names to prove it, Detroit, Coeur d'Alene, Des Moines, Louisville, etc.
Who makes burgoo in our crowd, Bobby does your family make one?