Home > Food, Language > Writing Tartines

Writing Tartines

December 6, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

A tartine

In my post last month on the French baked delicacies canalés, I referred to the wonderful blog Chocolate & Zucchini written by the Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier. One of my favorite features in her blog is a continuing series of posts on “edible idioms” — French idiomatic expressions related to food — that began two months ago.

Clotilde’s latest edible idiom post appeared yesterday, on the idiom ecrire des tartines, or writing tartines. As she explains, “a tartine is a slice of bread topped with some sort of spread, such as butter or jam,” and writing tartines should be understood as “writing reams, or being unnecessarily wordy.” Clotilde concludes her post by noting a variant:

This colloquial expression can also appear in the singular (“écrire une tartine”) and is derived from the 18th-century journalists’ slang, in which une tartine was a very long (and, it is implied, boring) article or speech. A rather self-explanatory image; I always picture the writer or speaker fastidiously buttering a long piece of split baguette.

I love this image. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’ve written more than a few tartines. Now I have the language to describe such posts.

Categories: Food, Language
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