white meat

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In modern English, white meat has two meanings. It is mainly applied to the (cooked) breast meat and other pale-coloured meat of poultry, as contrasted with the dark meat of the legs. This usage was probably adopted as a euphemism in the nineteenth century by those too genteel to use the word breast. Its other application is to pale-coloured meat in general—chicken and turkey in particular, but also pork, veal, rabbit, etc.—in contrast to the red meat of beef and mutton. (In Israeli restaurants, the non-kosher flesh of pigs is disguised as white meat.)

In former times, however, white meat (or white meats) denoted dairy products, such as milk, butter and cheese, and sometimes eggs.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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