His cook would catch it if his sauces weren't/ Piquant and sharp, and all his equipment/ To hand. And all day in his hall there stood/ The great fixed table, with the places laid.
-- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury tales
But, if I am a dupe, it is of a magician, whose wand has summed up the most beautiful forms of the ideal world of music to enchant my imagination; and if, by kind of reaction, I am unjust towards to "Gazza Ladra" and "Otello," it is because they awaken sensations less sweet and enchanting, though, perhaps, more strong and piquant in their effects.
-- Stendhal, Memoirs of Rossini
Piquant is an alteration of the French piquel, literally "pricking."