No, it’s not the neurological effect of spending too much time researching odd new terms. Slang jang is a tongue-tickling sauce found in East Texas. For more about slang jang, including recipes, check out etymologist Barry Popik’s site.

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5 Responses

  1. EmmettRedd says:

    Martha mentioned how all the ingredients were thrown together. Could that be the origin of the “slang” portion? “Sling” is another way to propel an object besides “throw”. “Slang” here then is the irregular past tense of “sling”. In fact, the OED has “slange” from 1315 in the I.1.b definition of “sling, v.1”.

    My hypothesis for “jang” is more of a stretch. I’ll reveal it after I see how the above is accepted.

    BTW, it was after the Civil War that canned foods made significant inroads into civilian use in the central US. Local tomato canneries were especially prevalent; tomatoes are one of the easier foods to can.


  2. I imagine that’s as good an explanation as any, Emmett. (Although I think I’d be more inclined to call it “Slung Jang” or “Slung Jung.”)

  3. afortner says:

    I listened to this minicast this afternoon and thought I’d come post. We grew up with something similar in my family, in a small town east of Dallas and about 85 miles south of Honey Grove. We called it (and still call it–I have a fresh jar in my refrigerator) “chow-chow”. Here’s a wikipedia entry, although what my mom makes sound more similar to slang jang: Apparently the name comes from the French “chou” for cabbage. I’m not sure if our family’s recipe has cabbage, but I believe it does, along with green tomatoes and other things. We also eat it on black-eyed peas…that’s the only way I’ve ever used it. (And the only way I eat black-eyed peas!) I’m not sure how it relates to slang jang or how the names came to be different. Not sure if the names or the ingredients changed or there was a mixup many generations ago. Either way it’s good stuff.

  4. Orange says:

    Hello I am a new listener and poster from Canada!

    Slang Jang does sound delicious–does anyone from Texas have a good recipe I can try at home?

  5. Viehfutter says:

    I’ve also heard my mother describe this as “Texas caviar.” I’ll have ask her where she heard that particular name for it.