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aspic1

[as-pik] /ˈæs pɪk/
noun
1.
a savory jelly usually made with meat or fish stock and gelatin, chilled and used as a garnish and coating for meats, seafoods, eggs, etc.
2.
a similar jelly made with spiced tomato juice and gelatin, served as a salad.
Origin
1780-1790
1780-90; < French; perhaps so called because the form or color resembled those of an asp. See aspic2

aspic2

[as-pik] /ˈæs pɪk/
noun
1.
Obsolete, asp1 .
Origin
1520-30; < Middle French, perhaps = Old French asp(e) asp1 + -ic, modeled on Middle French basilique basilisk

aspic3

[as-pik] /ˈæs pɪk/
noun
Origin
1595-1605; < French; Old French espic < Medieval Latin spīcus spikenard, Latin: variant of spīca, spīcum spike2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for aspics'

aspic1

/ˈæspɪk/
noun
1.
a savoury jelly based on meat or fish stock, used as a relish or as a mould for meat, vegetables, etc
Word Origin
C18: from French: aspic (jelly), asp1; variously explained as referring to its colour or coldness as compared to that of the snake

aspic2

/ˈæspɪk/
noun
1.
an archaic word for asp1
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Old Provençal espic spike, from Latin spīca, head (of flower); compare spikenard

aspic3

/ˈæspɪk/
noun
1.
either of two species of lavender, Lavandula spica or L. latifolia, that yield an oil used in perfumery: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, a variant of aspeasp²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for aspics'

aspic

n.

1789, "savory meat jelly," from French aspic "jelly" (18c.), literally "asp," from Old French aspe (see asp) + ending from basilisc "basilisk" (the two creatures sometimes were confused with one another). The foodstuff said to be so called from its coldness (froid comme un aspic is said by Littré to be a proverbial phrase), or the colors in the gelatin, or the shape of the mold.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for aspics'

aspic

savoury clear jelly prepared from a liquid stock made by simmering the bones of beef, veal, chicken, or fish. The aspic congeals when refrigerated by virtue of the natural gelatin that dissolves into the stock from the tendons; commercial sheet or powdered gelatin is sometimes added to ensure a stiff set. Aspic is used to coat and glaze foods such as cold meats and fish, eggs, poached or roasted poultry, and vegetables; plain aspic chopped or cut into shapes garnishes cold dishes. Various foods can be combined with aspic in decorative molds. Mayonnaise or sauce veloute mixed with liquid aspic yields chaud-froid, a sauce that can be coloured and used to decorate cold foods.

Learn more about aspic with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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