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Definition of «Caul»

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Caul: Or cowl, a membrane, in obstetrics and cooking.

In obstetrics, the caul is the amnion, one of the two fetal membranes, the other being the chorion. To be born in a caul meant to be born with the head covered by the amnion (or be born within an intact unruptured amnion). To be born in a caul was long believed to be a sign of future greatness.

In cooking, the caul is the greater omentum, the lacy membrane that hangs like an apron in front of the intestines within the abdominal cavity. The caul is used to wrap and hold meat together. (The caul may be pork, beef, sheep, goat, etc.) The caul melts during cooking, adding moisture to the contents and flavor to the meat.

Caul is pronounced "kawl" and comes (as does cowl) from the Gaelic "call" meaning "veil."

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