Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Way With Words

Last November in China, I found myself standing in front of a fast food restaurant near the Beijing Silk Market. The various items on the menu were displayed in big lacquered posters mounted in the window. Everything glistened and looked pretty savory. But somehow the descriptions did not inspire me to walk in and order something. I assume something was lost in translation.Well, a duck blood cake is a duck blood cake. No way around that, really. But I never thought of pork hock as "tonic & beautifying." I think it would be hard to market that in high-end toiletries.
"Hey, Ma! Can we have chicken gristle tonight?" No, I don't see it.
I'm sure a "yellow croaker" is a lovely fish, but croaking just doesn't sound appetizing. And "coarse grains" probably means something healthful, but couldn't they have found a nicer way to phrase it?"Boiled pig's large intestines": it is what it is. And there's just no good way to phrase it."Rough fish"? What's that?
I tried a "squirrel fish" once. It was okay, actually. But please don't make me eat something called a squirrel.
At last, a dish with a charming name: "Pretty pepper fall in love with cockerel." Aww! Whatever it is, I'll have it!

1 comment:

Bali Guide said...

I also don't like this type of food....
Thanks for sharing it....