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It's no cakewalk to find pobs' origins.

POBS continue to spark memories and speculation.

Most people remember it as bread broken into hot milk and sprinkled with sugar although some readers have had them as a savoury dish.

Norman Mellor, of Meltham, says: "While I remember pobs very well and enjoyed them my recollection was having salt and peps per rather than sugar on them and having them in Oxo. This was in the early 1940s. Think I'll try them again, might help me sleep."

Wilf Battye, of Scholes, says that when soldiers had hard bread they soaked it in milk or wine. It was called pobulums.

Mike Shaw, a previous contributor, said he understood pobs to date from Roman times, when legionnaires would similarly soak their bread in milk or wine.

But where does the word pobs originate? Pabulum is in the dictionary and is described as a "solution of nutrients in a state suitable for absorption" which sounds to be vaguely in the right gastronomic area.

It is also said to come from the Latin: pabulum meaning food or nourishment.

Other research suggested it comes from medieval times when the cheapest bread was peasebread and soon went stale.

It was soaked in milk or wine to soften it. Peasebread got shortened to pobs.

Barry Chambers, of Lockwood, says: "I have never eaten the pobs you referred to in hot milk and sprinkled with sugar. Pobs, to me, is plain bread sprinkled on soup or stew and I first heard the term in Barnsley. Some people fry their pobs and call them croutons - but probably not in Barnsley.

"My understanding of the word is much simpler than other explanations. I always thought it stood for Pieces Of Bread."

Sue Kitching, of Linthwaite, adds: "Have read your pieces on pobs with nostalgia. They were a favourite comfort food whenever I was ill as a child. As regards the origin of the name, I always understood it to be an acronym: Pieces Of Bread Soaked? Anyone else agree?" It couldn't be that simple, could it?

CAPTION(S):

Are those pobs ready yet?

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 24, 2014
Words:344
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