Asides, Cooking & Eating

Not to Crack the Wind of a Poor Phrase

Yesterday in class, I posed the following riddle to my students: I will give you a list of ingredients, I told them, and you will tell me what the recipe is called.

Not to crack the wind of a poor phrase -- a Hamlet riddle

3 Eggs
2 Slices of Prosciutto
Crumbled Blue Cheese (Stella, or its international equivalent)

Is it an omelet? they asked. It is, but that’s a genre, not the name. Is it a cheese omelet? A blue cheese omelet? A ham and cheese omelet? Is it just called — Stella? Finally, I gave them a hint: if something is rotten in the state of Denmark, I told them, it had better not be those eggs.

Then finally, one of them perked up: Is it a Hamlet? he asked, somewhat tentatively.

Yes! I proclaimed. A Hamlet. Or a Hamelet. Or, if you’re being extra fancy about it, a Hamelette!

They’ve been living with the poor mad Prince of Denmark for the past week and more. And yet — not a single one of them laughed.

At least I amuse myself.