Yesterday’s breakfast was salmon chimichurri — something of a blind venture, but I do like salmon. The chimichurri turned out to be a nice green sauce, which I then looked up (yes, I know, most people would look it up first, but I’m an adventurous eater).

On the name and its (possible) history, from Wikipedia:

Chimichurri … or chimmichurri is a green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina. It is made of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, vegetable oil, oregano, and white vinegar. In Uruguay, the dominant flavoring is parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, and fresh oregano.

The name of the sauce probably comes from Basque tximitxurri... , loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order”; many Basques settled in Argentina in the 19th century.

There are also various (almost certainly) false etymologies purporting to explain the name as a corruption of English words, most commonly the name ‘Jimmy Curry’ or ‘Jimmy McCurry’, but there is no contemporary documentation of any of these stories.


Just in case you’re tempted by the resemblance between chimichurri and the song name “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, this is totally accidental. On the song, from Wikipedia:

“Chim Chim Cher-ee” is a song from Mary Poppins, the 1964 musical motion picture. It was originally sung by Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews, and also is featured in the Cameron Mackintosh/Disney Mary Poppins musical.

… The song was inspired by one of the drawings of a chimney sweep created by Mary Poppins’ screenwriter, Don DaGradi. When asked about the drawing by the Sherman Brothers, DaGradi explained the ancient British folklore attributed to “sweeps” and how shaking hands with one could bring a person good luck. In their 1961 treatment, the Sherman Brothers had already amalgamated many of the P.L. Travers characters in the creation of “Bert”. His theme music became “Chim Chim Cher-ee”.

The chim is the chim of chimney, as in chimney sweep. The beginning of the chorus goes:

Chim – chim – in – ey, Chim chim – in – ey, Chim Chim Cher – ee!
A sweep is as luck – y as luck – y can be.


I spare you a video or audio clip for the song, which won great awards but nevertheless annoys me mightily.

One Response to “chimichurri”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Horton Copperpot on Google+

    Chimichurri was a brief culinary fad, particularly popularized by the food reality shows and “tournament format” shows like Chopped. Europeans mix it with mayo and put it on fries (or without mayo). Before we named it chimichurri, we called it parsley pesto. But chimichurri sounds more exotic, if not authentic.

    The real shocker is going to Whole Foods and finding a Chimichurri spice blend in a spice jar right next to Harissa. Both mixes have their uses but neither resembles the originals that use fresh…

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