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Foreign Delicacies or Indelicacies?


Every country has its delicacies. French cuisine, regarded by many as the best in the world, is probably best known for its pastries. In the image below most readers will recognize croissants on the left. The pastry on the right is called a religieuse, which means nun.

picture of French pastries

A religieuse is a made up of two glazed cream puffs, a smaller one atop a larger one. The most common fillings are chocolate pudding or coffee pudding. Some religieuses are good while others are just incredible!

British cuisine is not as highly regarded as French cuisine (is that the kindest understatement of the year?), but it still has its delicacies. In the picture below the dish on the left is steak and kidney pie, and on the right is fish and chips.

picture of British delicacies

Japan is best known for its sushi.

picture of sushi

When people think of China, Peking duck (left) and dumplings (right) often come to mind.

picture of Chinese delicacies

Although we enjoyed both of those greatly, several of our favorite delicacies were spun sugar potatoes...

picture of spun sugar potatoes

... and chrysanthemum tea.

picture of chrysanthemum tea

China and Asia in general are also known for what could be termed "indelicacies," most of which are totally unintentional. Written menus are one of the best sources of indelicacies through bad translations. Below are several.

The first soup listed on this menu makes me wonder what the real translation should be.

picture of menu

Here's another menu, without comment from me because it leaves me speechless.

picture of menu

Talk about indelicacy...

picture of package

If you eat that, don't say you weren't warned on the package!

The names of some restaurants make you wonder....

picture of restaurant

picture of restaurant

I'm sure this next one might be fine, but the naming was unfortunate and most indelicate!

picture of restaurant

Some pleas for civility from tourists are very delicately and even beautifully phrased.

picture of sign

Some are a little less clear.

picture of sign

Some are not only unclear but also at least a little indelicately worded.

picture of sign

One of my readers sent me two tourist restroom signs from one of the most touristic sections of the Great Wall.

picture of sign

The next two are not Chinese, but whatever language they're in, the names of the "toiled" items seem inappropriate and/or indelicate for one reason or another.

picture of TP

picture of TP

Oh my! I can't think of anything to say that wouldn't be indelicate.

Do you have any favorite foreign delicacies or indelicacies?

quotation...

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Home is where you hang your @.
With Wi-Fi available in so many places, is home still where you hang your @?


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9 Comments on “Foreign Delicacies or Indelicacies?”

  1. #1 LeAnne
    on Jul 15th, 2010 at 7:46 am

    On a package of kitchen knives: “Please keep out of pets and children.” Not quite sure, but surely stabbing your children and pets would be considered indelicate!

  2. #2 Michael
    on Jul 15th, 2010 at 8:09 am

    It’s tough to beat a bratwurst with hot mustard on the streets of a quaint German town.

  3. #3 Laura LaRocco
    on Jul 15th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I think the language on the “Google” package might be Vietnamese. Not sure about the “Sit & Smile.” Those names… oh dear…

    As for my own experiences with foreign “delicacies,” I have so many food stories from when I was in Korea several years ago that it would take up too much space to mention them all here! Some highlights…

    One place we ate served whole fish (eyes still there) and whole baby octopi. I got maybe half of the fish meat with my chopsticks and passed altogether on the octopi. :)

    One week the team I was with ran a camp, using the facilities of a boarding school that was on break for the summer. They must have paid the school cafeteria workers to stay for that week, though, because all the kids were acting like what we were eating was typical “school” food. One meal I was happy to see some rather American-looking food, and I was happily munching away on (what I thought was) onion rings. One of the girl campers noticed and asked how I enjoyed what I was eating. When she heard me refer to them as “onion rings” she gave me an odd look and went to talk to one of the cooks. The girl came back and informed me that I was, in fact, eating squid rings.

    One more, also from the same week of camp. One particular morning we were served octopus tentacles as a side dish. I was doing my best to quietly avoid them when one of the campers (same girl as in the above story) asked if I was going to try them. So I did. It wasn’t that bad, just a little chewy, and I said as much when the girl asked how I liked them. Then the girl made an interesting face and said, “Really? Mine weren’t.” I didn’t eat any more of them after that….

  4. #4 Melissa
    on Jul 15th, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Yay, Mr. Loach, I’m glad that you were able to use some of my pictures! I was curious how you were going to work them in, and I wasn’t disappointed! :-)

  5. #5 AJ Adams
    on Jul 15th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I have a theory about delicacies. You see, the idea was invented when a group of people long ago got into a discussion about a certain type of food that they thought was disgusting. They sat around complaining, until someone got a bright idea: guilt trip foreigners who have no clue about what we normally eat and push this stuff off on them. If they grimace, we can call it a “delicacy” and make them feel afraid of hurting our feelings if they don’t eat it. That way, the locals don’t have to eat it and they can get entertainment from the weird looks of the foreigners as they try to keep the food down. That is how I believe the concept of “delicacy” came about. Although, I do like to be surprised when I actually like it :)

  6. #6 Gayle
    on Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    so I guess Julia Childs would have used FRESH “colorectal”. Toooo funny!

  7. #7 Carrie
    on Jul 16th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Laughed out loud several times. Thanks for the exercise! :o)

  8. #8 Susan
    on Jul 16th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    We have a large populations of Asians in Vancouver, which translates to a large population of Filipinos in our church. They love to try out there delicacies on us. The worst I’ve seen – but have no intention of trying – is balut: duck eggs with the baby duck boiled inside. Just can’t get past the little duckie all curled up in there!

  9. #9 Tim
    on Jul 16th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Your recent post reminded me of a treat I had in Liberia — bamboo worms. My friend here likes them raw, but I waited to have mine fried. Stay tuned to the next Dispatches from the Front dvd for a taste of West Africa!

    (picture added below by Rob):

    picture of bamboo worms


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