Archive for Language and food

Cool slave / guy / tofu / whatever

Nathan Hopson spotted this "Cool Guy" t-shirt on Facebook:

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Trump(et) king mushrooms

Yuanfei Wang, who sent in this photograph of a menu from a Chinese restaurant called Chef Jon's (Chú wáng 厨王) in East Hanover, New Jersey, refers to it as a rèdiǎn 热点 ("hot spot"):

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Multilingual tea packaging

David Langeneckert thought that I "might find this mashup of languages interesting", and indeed I do!

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Awful offal

The following YouTube presents "25 Crazy Things You’ll Only Find In Chinese Walmarts".  If you have 4:14 to spare and want to know what special sorts of things are sold in Chinese Walmarts, you can watch the whole video.  If you're pressed for time, then skip to 3:13, which is what I'll be discussing in this post.

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Indispensable condiment

Valerie Hansen gave me the following package:

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"Rural Amorous Feelings", part 2

Bob Sanders writes:

"I was just reading today's online issue of the NZ Herald and came upon the following photo":

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"Sexual harassment dried bamboo shoot"

Given the bevy of shamed politicians and celebrities who have been paraded before the public in recent weeks, it may be of interest that the word for "sexual harassment" in Chinese is quite a colorful one:


(Source)

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Congee: the Dravidian roots of the name for a Chinese dish

I love congee and I love the word "congee":

"Chinese restaurant shorthand, part 2" (11/30/16)

"Chinese restaurant shorthand, part 3" (2/25/17)

Lisa Lim has written an edifying article on the subject in the South China Morning Post Magazine (11/10/17):

"Where the word congee comes from – the answer may surprise you:  The dish is frequently associated with East Asian cuisine but the term originated in India – from the Tamil kanji"

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A polysyllabic character that can be read in two different ways

Photo taken in Hangzhou by Nikita Kuzmin's Chinese teacher:

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A Bite of Russia

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Chow mein from a can ≠ chǎomiàn / caau2min6 from a wok

The theme of today's post:  MSM chǎomiàn / Cant. caau2min6  trad. 炒麵 / simpl. 炒面 ("fried noodles").

When I was a wee lad growing up in East Canton (formerly Osnaburg; population about a thousand), Ohio, all that I knew of Chinese food came out of cans, and it was branded either as La Choy or Chun King.  The noodles were short, brown, hard, and crunchy, the vegetables were rather tasteless (with mung bean sprouts predominating and plenty of somewhat rubbery sliced mushrooms), all in a mucilaginous matrix of thick, starchy sauce.  But it was a lot of fun to prepare and eat because of the way it came in three cans and was so very exotic — not like the daily fare of meat, potatoes, peas, beans, and bread favored by Midwesterners.  Oh, and the watery, caramel colored soy sauce was so cloyingly salty.

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Preserved wife plum

No, these are not plums consisting of preserved wives, nor are they plums made by preserved wives, nor are they anything else you are likely to think of based on the English name.

Why am I even talking about this?  How did this bizarre subject come up?

In a comment to "Vegetable students" (7/11/17), David Morris asked about the name of a Chinese snack called "Preserved Wife Plum" that a colleague offered to him.  He said that "three Chinese speaking ESL or translating teachers couldn't explain" the name.  I made some preliminary attempts to describe what this snack was like, but David and John Swindle repeated the request for an explanation of the name.

I was snared.

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Vegetable students

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