Trump(et) king mushrooms

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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"):

Chef Jon seems to be very fond of king trumpet mushrooms.  They occur as an ingredient in 3 of his dishes on this menu.  As might be expected, in the Chinese names of two of these three dishes, the word gū 菇 ("mushroom") appears, but in the third it does not.  Instead, in the latter, it is called simply Chuānpǔ 川普 ("Trump"), with nary a mention of an equivalent for "-et" nor for "mushroom".

The name of this dish in Chinese is "Chuānpǔ xiǎo cuìtiáo 川普小脆條", which Chef Jon calls "Crispy King Trumpet Mushroom" in English, but which may more literally be translated as "Trump little crisp strips".  These "Trump little crisp strips" are like French fries, but made of king trumpet mushrooms cut lengthwise rather than from potatoes.  This is one of the signature dishes of Chef Jon's restaurant, and (in a telephone call) he tells us that he gave it the unique name "Chuānpǔ xiǎo cuìtiáo 川普小脆條" ("Trump little crisp strips") to signal that it's not a traditional Chinese dish, but rather what we may think of as "Chinese fusion".  Maybe if it catches on and becomes really popular, people will start referring to these delicious little strips as "Chinese fries", but I suspect that the supply of available king trumpet mushrooms will have a hard time keeping up with the growing demand, should this delicious delicacy make the jump beyond Chef Jon's hot spot.

In the past, it was common to use the names of famous Chinese personalities for particular dishes, e.g., "Dongpo pork", named after the Song Dynasty poet and essayist, Su Dongpo / Shi, and "Cao Cao chicken", named after the Three Kingdoms general, Cao Cao.  For a while, there was a Hunanese restaurant that featured "Máo zhǔxí hóngshāo ròu 毛主席红烧肉" ("Chairman Mao's braised pork"), but later the Chinese government punished this restaurant and issued a stern regulation (6/26/07) forbidding the use of the names and images of Chinese leaders to promote products and dishes.

But it's still permissible to capitalize on the names of foreign leaders, such as with this "básī Tèlǎngpǔ 拔丝特朗普" ("candied floss Trump"), which is made of melted sugar drawn out in fine strands and draped over potatoes:

[Thanks to Zeyao Wu, Tao Tang, Jing Wang, and Fangyi Cheng]


  1. Victor Mair said,

    April 22, 2018 @ 1:05 pm

    From Jinyi Cai:

    King trumpet mushroom is oyster mushroom (xìngbào gū 杏鲍菇). I guess 'trumpet" sounds like "xìngbào gū 川普". However, there is "king trumpet". It's more interesting. I am not sure if the person translated such term intentionally (to make it sound funny?) The term "川普小脆条" definitely sounds funny to me.

  2. liuyao said,

    April 23, 2018 @ 5:51 pm

    蹭热点 should be parsed ceng redian, as the verb means (foot or face) to rub against, or come to close contact with.

  3. Victor Mair said,

    April 23, 2018 @ 8:20 pm

    Cèng rèdiǎn 蹭热点 ("hang around a hot spot") is a verb phrase. The o.p. has been corrected to refer just to the noun, rèdiǎn 热点 ("hot spot").

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