Saturday, November 10, 2007


Foreign language menus are often entertaining when you travel. When I was in Aguas Calientes, I was talking with a restaurant owner. When he found out I was an English teacher, he offered me a little more wine to go over his menu with him. A frequent problem is that they translate "a la..." literally, so you get "spaghetti to the sailor" which is harder to figure out than the "espegueti a la marinera." His menu had one dish that had a particular local name that couldn't really be translated, and he wanted to describe the dish in English--Pork fried in its own fat. I tried to explain that you couldn't put that on the menu. It might be muy rico, but, while you can talk about fat and grease in the kitchen, it doesn't go on the menu in America.

But my favorite menu item was found in Bolivia, where a spicy dish of beef and hotdogs over fries with onions, peppers, and ketchup called "pique macho" is popular. The English side of the menu listed it as "Male itch (very hot) 30 bs."

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