YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT:
WHEREVER ETHNIC GROUPS meet and come into conflict, they usually call one another names to disparage highly visible cultural differences, such as crude stereotypes of dietary customs and related practices. About one in fourteen ethnic epithets in historical American slang is a dietary stereotype. The smorgasbord in the pages that follow arranges these derisive nicknames by their food referents, soup to nuts.
Soup . Americans borrowed the Continental and British slur Jean potage for our immigrant French. But immigrant Quebeckers were a more visible group, and their staple peasoup by the 1890s resulted in Johnny peasoup and the popular variants peasoup, pea souper, and French peasoup. Their pea soup is probably the allusion in pea-eye. German Americans were called metzel, deriving I speculate from Metzelsuppe or metzel soup, made with sausage, and a popular dish in nineteenth-century immigrant communities.
Seafood . Several groups have been nicknamed for doing