Perilla and company

Came across the herb perilla in my reading this morning, and began playing associatively with the name, thinking of composing a comic story or verse on phonologically similar names. Here, some raw materials; anyone is welcome to play with them.

But first about perilla. From Wikipedia:

Perilla is the common name for a herb of the mint family, Lamiaceae. Though known to several cultures by different names, the disparate varieties are now classified under the single species Perilla frutescens.

The overall plant resembles the stinging nettle, though the leaves are somewhat rounder.

The Japanese name for the variety of perilla normally used in Japanese cuisine (Perilla frutescens var. crispa) is shiso … This name is already commonplace in US mass media’s coverage of Japanese restaurants and cuisine. The Japanese call the green type aojiso …, or ooba (“big leaf”), and often eat the fresh leaves with sashimi (sliced raw fish) or cut them into thin strips in salads, spaghetti, and meat and fish dishes. It is also used as a savory herb in a variety of dishes, even as a pizza topping (initially it was used in place of basil). In the summer of 2009, Pepsi Japan released a new seasonal flavored beverage, Pepsi Shiso.

I’m very fond of the herb with sushi and sashimi, but I’m dubious indeed about Pepsi Shiso.

(The plant is very easy to grow.)

An earlier mention of perilla/shiso on this blog in a 7/16/12 posting on labiates (labiate is the older name for the laminaceae).

So much for perilla. On to its companions:

Barilla, the pasta company:

Barilla S.p.A. (Barilla G. e R. Fratelli Società per Azioni) is an Italian and European food company.

The group produces several kinds of pasta and it is the world’s leading pasta maker with 40-45% of the Italian market and 25% of the US market. It produces pasta in over 120 shapes and sizes. (link)

Petrillo, the union leader:

James Caesar Petrillo (March 16, 1892 – October 23, 1984) was the prominent leader of the American Federation of Musicians, a trade union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada. (link)

Petrillo, the comic tv character:

Sophia Petrillo-Weinstock is a fictional character from the TV series The Golden Girls, and its spin-offs The Golden Palace and Empty Nest. She was portrayed by Estelle Getty for 10 years and 258 episodes. (link)

Pirelli, the tire company:

Pirelli & C. SpA is a multinational company based in Milan, Italy, listed on Milan Stock Exchange since 1922. The company, the world’s fifth-largest tyre manufacturer behind Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental and Goodyear, is present in over 160 countries, has 21 manufacturing sites around the world and a network of around 10,000 distributors and retailers. (link)

Pirelli, the campy fictional character:

Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli [by Ronald Firbank] (1926) begins with the Cardinal christening a dog in his cathedral (‘And thus being cleansed and purified, I do call thee “Crack”!’) and ends with His Eminence dying of a heart attack while chasing, naked, a choirboy around the aisles. (link)

That’s a nicely varied group, and more people could be added to it — say, Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, who would lead to Camilla Perilla.

One Response to “Perilla and company”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Robert Coren on Facebook:

    One could add Pedrillo, Belmonte’s servant in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

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