“Did I order that ?”
Posted by Big John on July 26, 2007
Have you ever been surprised by food ?
You know, like when you order something from a foreign menu and a completely strange dish is placed before you, or when something that looks like meat turns out to be fish.
It’s happened to me a number of times: one of which was when I was in a restaurant in Germany and ordered a ‘local speciality’ starter consisting of cheese, mustard and bread. I expected some kind of ‘fondue’ or even something similar to our ‘Welsh Rabbit’. What I got was a slice of cheese, a packet of mustard and a piece of bread.
On another occasion I was in a food hall at Fulton Street Fish Market in New York City and decided to try sushi for the very first time. I thought that it was going to be my last; for I decided to start by eating the green paste in the middle of the dish. No one told me that it was ‘wasabi’ or Japanese horseradish. Just thinking about it still brings me out in a sweat.
I wonder how many people get a shock when they order ‘flan’ in Spain (and the US) and get ‘creme caramel’ instead of fruit tart, or order ‘creme anglais’ in France, expecting English cream, and are confronted with a dish of custard ?
In America I found out that ‘biscuits’ are not sweet little things that you have with tea, but small bread rolls (which sometimes come covered in gravy), and ‘corn bread’ is not a bread at all, but a sweet little cake.
On the whole I like the food that they serve in the USA, but I must admit that I have been served some strange things in those parts where they play banjos and diddle their sisters. …
… “Excuse me, but what’s that on my plate next to the catfish?”
… “It’s grits, sir” …
… “What’s a bloody grit?”
My daughter suffers from an egg allergy; so dining out was always a problem when she was a child, especially in a foreign country. My wife and I would scour the menues to try and find something ‘safe’ for her to eat, and on one occasion we selected onion soup after being assured by a Spanish waiter that it was just ‘plain onion’. It arrived at our table …
… with an egg floating in it !