Did you know that the reason shortbread was named shortbread had nowt to do with the length of the cookies, but their texture? I did not know this, although I was familiar with the term shortening as a baking ingredient.
Via Wikipedia, of course, which adds:
The short or crumbly texture is a result of the fact that the fat inhibits the formation of long protein (gluten) strands.
It's kind of amazing how even the most mundane-seeming things have these layers of history.
P.S. And speaking of layers, I am just now finding out by double-checking on my attempt to be a little Scottish above, in honor of the origin of shortbread, that I could be said to have had a cow. Funny that Alf Wight -- the guy who taught me about the first sense of nowt -- never saw fit to mention the second, in all of those books. Not like there was any shortage of opportunities to make a pun, I mean.
Or, who knows. Maybe his humor was more subtle than I was able to detect at that time.
Post title is an old joke between Dan and me. He was once praised by a mutual coworker for his knowledge of entomology.