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The first known reference to poultry thighs as ‘drumsticks’ comes in the Mayor of Garret (1764), a play by the now almost forgotten dramatist Samuel Foote (1720–77), known to his contemporaries as ‘the English Aristophanes’: ‘She always helps me herself to the tough drumsticks of turkeys.’ They get their name, of course, from their shape, bulbous at one end, with the bone protruding sticklike at the other. See also joint.

A culinary drumstick rather less familiar to Westerners is the seedpod of the Indian tree Moringa oleifera. Its name was given to it by the British in India, on account of its long thin shape (unlike the chicken leg, it has no bulbous extremity). The tree's familiar English name, horseradish tree, gives a strong hint as to the pod's flavour.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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