Archive for Language and food

The politics and linguistics of bread in Taiwan and China

Taiwanese master baker Wu Pao-chun 吳寶春 with a loaf of his famous bread:

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Mee Tu flavor

A tasty visual pun found on Facebook:

(originally posted by Wayne Hudson)

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"Geda", part 3

Earlier this week (11/12/18), under the rubric "Of knots, pimples, and Sinitic reconstructions", we discussed the origins and meaning of the fascinating Sinitic word "geda" ("pimple; knot; lump").  That, in turn, was prompted by our initial acquaintance with "geda" in "Too hard to translate soup" a couple of months before (9/2/18).  After considering a possible source in Indo-European, Turkic, Tungusic, and Mongolic, there seemed to be a bit of momentum in favor of the last named family.

Since "geda" first appeared in a significantly large number of citations in written Sinitic during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) about a thousand years ago, it was thought advisable to look at an earlier stage of Mongolic rather than simply referring to modern Mongolian forms.  So I thought of asking Daniel Kane, a rare specialist in Khitan, which is generally considered to be a Para-Mongolic language, whether he had any thoughts on the matter.

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Hanoi menu

Tweet by Dan Okrent:

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Font adjustment: Times Beef Noodle

Tweet  by Noelle Mateer:

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Kids Bong

Bill Benzon spotted this on Facebook:

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Onigiri > Onigilly

Brand-name transliteration (in Embarcadero Center, San Francisco), courtesy of Nancy Friedman:

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Peking colloquialisms

Here is a photograph of a paper placemat Tong Wang found in a restaurant serving Beijing dishes that is named "Sea Bowl Restaurant" (Hǎiwǎn jū 海碗居):

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Tangut beer

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Q-TAXI

From a correspondent in Taiwan:

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Egg tarts around the world: a brief survey

When I was in Hamburg, Germany a few months ago, I was pleasantly surprised to come upon a pastry shop that sold egg tarts warm out of the oven.  They were just divine!  I think they were called pastéis de nata from the term used for them in Portugal, which seems to be the homeland (or one of the homelands) of this heavenly dessert.  Here the word pastéis is translated into English as "pastels", but it's something altogether different from the art medium, and it has a broad spectrum of manifestations as different types of pies and cakes.

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"Boiled Blood Curd" and "Semi-rotted Vegetables Cake"

Menu items at the Asia Bistro, Marriott Hotel, Suzhou, China, courtesy of Thomas Malphus:

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Too hard to translate soup

From a menu in a restaurant in Oxford, Ohio:

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