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Some "Cherpumple" for Thanksgiving?

What's "cherpumple"? Let naming expert and word-watcher Nancy Friedman define it for you...

Cherpumple: A dessert comprising cherry, pumpkin, and apple pies, each baked inside a layer of cake. The word is a portmanteau of cherry, pumpkin, and apple.

Cherpumple
Photo: This Is Why You're Fat ("Where dreams become heart attacks").

Cherpumple was invented and named last Thanksgiving by Charles Phoenix, a 47-year-old Los Angeles resident whose website describes him as a "showman, author, humorist" and "ambassador of Americana." A page devoted to cherpumple describes the creation as the "desert [sic] version of the Turducken"—if you need a definition of the latter, go here—and goes on to explain:

The inspiration for the Cherpumple came from the typical desert [sic] table selection you would find at one of my family's holiday celebrations. Seems there's always cherry, pumpkin, and apple pie and a cake that's a family tradition. It has a layer of spice and a layer of yellow. Since I always want to have a piece of each of the pies and the cake I figured why not make that waaaaaaaay more convenient. So I baked them all together as one and the Cherpumple was born.

There's a recipe (using frozen and boxed ingredients) and a video on the site, along with suggestions for making a flambé version. As Mr. Phoenix told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, the recipe "puts the kitsch in kitchen." The entire enterprise can take up to three days, the WSJ reports, "because each component must cool before being baked into another."

According to the WSJ, other bakers have viewed Mr. Phoenix's achievement as a challenge. Their variations have included cherberryple (which replaces the pumpkin layer with blueberry pie) and pumpple cake (pumpkin and apple), "which has 1,800 calories in an $8 slice designed to serve four."

In related culinary portmanteau news, check out the Turbaconducken: a Turducken (turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken)... wrapped in bacon. Or see here for even more outrageous concoctions, like the TurDunkin' and Turbaconduckenriblets. Bon appétit!


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Nancy Friedman is the chief wordworker at verbal-branding consultancy Wordworking, and the author of a fine blog on naming, branding and more called Fritinancy. Nancy has named a venture-capital firm, a laser hair-removal device, a mobile-money service, and many other companies and products. A former journalist, she still writes or ghostwrites articles, speeches, white papers, and books. Click here to read more articles by Nancy Friedman.

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Comments from our users:

Thursday November 25th 2010, 7:54 AM
Comment by: Stan Carey (Galway Ireland)Visual Thesaurus Contributor
The pronunciation of Turbaconducken is elusive; my instinct is to call it Turba-con-ducken. Reading your post from a couple of years ago, I see you had the same experience.

As for Cherpumple: I wouldn't refuse a small slice, but I've no intention of trying to bake it.
Thursday November 25th 2010, 8:02 PM
Comment by: mac
why would anyone name a dish turducken. yes, i see about the turkey and duck and chicken but, when one coins a word, one must make one's self aware of permutations.
Tuesday December 7th 2010, 3:09 PM
Comment by: Ted W.
Supporting Mac's comment, I found that when I tried the word out on friends at a recent Christmas party, most of them immediately associated the word with "turd" and the all too common expletive, "f---in.'" Admittedly, most had already hit the wine bar and spoken with unaccustomed candor.

To be constructive, let me offer the humble suggestion that the dish (an excellent compression of fowl meat, by the way) be named from the inside out. This portmanteau word would now be "chiducturk." The word slide off the lips quite as agreeably as dainty morsels of this concoction slip in. If you are like me, you may want to go even further and add a squab or other small bird as stuffing for the chicken. The name for this is even more fun to say: "squachiducturk." I have not yet created such a dish.
Wednesday December 8th 2010, 11:00 PM
Comment by: Rain
This cherpumple might be interesting to create, but I've only heard of bakers using store-bought pies inserted into layers of cake mixes. This doesn't sound too appetizing to me. Surely this concoction would be tastier if made from scratch.

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Meet the "Turducken"
The Oxford Dictionary of English announced it was adding "turducken" to its latest edition.
The new-words announcement from Oxford caused some confusion over dictionary names.
The man who brought cranberries out of Thanksgiving and created a new prefix.