Archive for Language and food

A meal of little shovels

At an excellent restaurant in Leipzig last night the server quickly identified me as an Auslander whose German might not be up to grasping every nuance of the menu, so I was given an English menu as well. (It was a bit humiliating, like having a bib tied round my neck. I have tried to explain elsewhere why my knowledge of German is so shamefully thin and undeveloped despite my having once spent 18 months living in the country.) On the English menu was a dish at which I raised a native-speaking eyebrow: Frankish little shovels, it said. And since there is no limit to my dedication as a linguistic scientist, I ordered the dish just to see what these little shovels were like.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments off

Cactus Wawa revisited

One of the most intriguing and enthralling Language Log posts is this one:

"cactus wawa: the strange tale of a strange character" (11/1/14)

I spent months doing the research for that post and, although it garnered 80 helpful comments, I still felt that there were some loose ends.  Consequently, I was delighted to receive last week (4/13/16) the following message from Robert Cheng, the brother of the owner of the teashop:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (12)

Sad jelly noodles

Name of a restaurant in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan:

shāngxīn suānlà fěn 傷心酸辣粉

In English, the restaurant calls itself "Sad Super Hot Noodles".

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (12)

Fruity bar

One of the items in the gift box handed out to the thousands of runners in the Qingyuan marathon in Guangdong province last Sunday:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

FOOD & BGVERAGGS, with a focus on naan / nang

The following three items might well have been included in the previous post on Chinglish, but that one got to be rather long and unwieldy, so I'm treating these separately.  In any event, I think that they merit the special treatment they are receiving here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (17)

Chinglish medley

An assortment of Chinglish signs and menu items from my files (I forget who sent them to me).  There are eight all together.  Before diving into an examination of them one after the other, I should note that the last two partially result from the perennial problem of not knowing how to deal with warnings involving the heart (xīn 心).  Since I've already devoted an entire post to this topic, it might be worthwhile to take a peek at that before proceeding further:

"Mind your head" (8/28/15)

xiǎoxīn 小心 (lit., "little heart" –> "[be] careful; look out")

dāngxīn 当心 (lit., "heed / regard heart" –> "be careful; watch out")

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

Madame Curry

Mark Swofford called my attention to this Taipei restaurant, noting the risqué pun in its name:  gālí niáng 咖哩娘 (lit., "curry mom").  The restaurant also has the Frenchified Western name "cari de madame".

It could conceivably be a pun for jiālǐ niàng 家裡釀 ("home brew"), but I suspect that Mark had something else in mind.  Well, the proprietors tell part of the story themselves here, "A naughty name for insane curry".

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2)

"It eats salty": middle voice on "Top Chef"

On a recent episode of Bravo's competitive cooking show "Top Chef" ("Spines and Vines," 12/10/15), the contestants had to make a dish with uni (sea urchin) and pair it with a wine. One contestant, Angelina Bastidas, received the following less-than-glowing appraisal of her dish from the show's host, Padma Lakshmi, and guest judge Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine.

AB: Over here it's a play on an Italian cacio e pepe. I made uni butter. And the wine that I chose today is chardonnay.
DC: The uni obviously has a lot of salt.
PL: Yeah.
DC: It's one of the characteristics, and the dish…
PL: It eats salty.
AB: Sorry about that. I apologize.
PL: Thank you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (27)

Fry the red hand

Maidhc Mac Roibin spotted this oddly named item on the menu (bottom right) of the Nutrition Restaurant in Cupertino, CA:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (8)

God use VPN

One of Kohei Jose Shimamoto's photos on Facebook:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (6)

Beijing Noshery

An old photograph in my files (from about five years ago):

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (6)

Cabbages & Condoms

Tom Mazanec's uncle recently came across this sign in a restaurant in Chiang Rai, Thailand:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (9)

"Academician who survived Stalin's purges… fish"

Dmitriy Genzel sent in this photograph of an item on a Chinese menu:


(From here.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (13)