Every Dish Name Has A Story

Some Peruvian dishes have funny names, and all the dishes have a story. It’s useful to know what is what. Many of the dishes originated in the working class and I have been doing my own experiment to see if it’s true (more on the class system later).

Suspiro limeño = sigh of a person from Lima: the classic pudding dessert from Lima
Causa = cause: a layered cold potato dish whose origin is supposed from the women helping their men with fighting for the cause in the 19th century.
Leche de tigre = tiger’s milk: the lime marinade used for ceviche.
fullsizeoutput_1b1Chicharrón… de pescado = pork crackling… of fish (in the photo, the leche de tigre has chicharrón of fish on it): this is the terminology used for deep fried fish or chicken, etc. Much like “chicken fried” in the U.S. Chicharrón is also used to indicate the substantial pork roast cuts that include the crackling. Also the name of the sandwich (often served for breakfast) with the same pork roast slice.
Jamón de pavo = turkey ham: turkey deli meat that is processed to taste like ham.
Malarabe = bad arab: a soup from the north of Peru.
vwSVNPoeR5adOl2dpSkb34hAGqV0MLDKsFzlPQCBkoe46ZlpVvMKqI4BBzGftG-lHKN2vDzQzFJTT87WGRVBZXnqtdbrmlmmUr4kqGOf7iak0Zec2O1_p7udHGwcq5ek4nSMrxpf-JtJnYsv4No6KCPJvcyR8Jz0ku1_xBj7ydqlvDvJRXTrHLpWG1King Kong: a King Kong sized alfajor sweet.
Revolución caliente = hot revolution: a pastry sold at night, with its own song. Steeped in history.
Champú = shampoo: a dessert
Aeropuerto = airport: a stir fry dish so named because a lot of items land on the plate, mainly noodles and rice. This dish was named in the 1990s.
Siete colores = seven colors: a dish of seven colors, made with the following dishes — cebiche, tallarines rojos (pasta in red sauce), cau cau (made with tripe), papa a la huancaína (potatoes with yellow sauce), chanfainita (a dish often made with lung), arroz con pollo y ocopa (a peanut based sauce).
fullsizeoutput_1c1Mostro (but a variant of the correct spelling of monster. I was excited to see the dish on a menu — proof that the dish actually exists) = monster (pollo a la brasa y arroz chaufa): a spit roasted chicken quarter on a mountain of fried rice.
Mostrito = a small monster: an eighth of a roast chicken on fried rice. I was disappointed that a small monster wasn’t a larger whole chicken, but that’s me with my sense of humor…

The last two dishes are most recent and many people have not heard of them and when I ask where one can find them, I’m told “in the outskirts” which is the euphemism for the “hood.”

Do You Speak Castillian?

The Spanish is slightly different here in Peru. First of all, it’s not Spanish. It’s “castellano” which is a result, I’m guessing, from when the conquistadors came over from Castille. The Peruvians use an incredible amount of slang, but I’m not sure if it’s more than everyone else. Now that I have dreams in Spanish (many of which “no entiendo”), some Lima specific terms are becoming part of my daily language. Here are a few of them:

de frente: in Spanish class, we learned “derecha” for “right” and “de recho” for “straight on” — that won’t work here. If you say “de recho” to a taxi driver here, they will assume you said to turn right and got the vowel wrong. If you want them to go straight, say “de frente”. Not to be confused with “en frente” which is across”.

A doubler – to turn.

Playa: parking lot (yes! so you will find “parking beaches” far away from the water).

Cobrer – to cost/pay.

IMG_7175Palta: avocado

Maracuya: it’s passionfruit but I have to recall the English because that heady scent seems much more of a “mah-ra-coo-yay” for some reason.

Ficho: fancy

Guinasso: F&*(*ing awesome. I think that’s how it’s spelled…

Hallar: hitch a ride

Sencilla (Efectivo/Plata/dinero in other forms of Spanish): for petty cash or small change. There is a lot of fake money here so people prefer coins  and small bills.
Barrio versus district: seems to be a matter of “class” — when I referred to Miraflores as my barrio, I was met by giggles of embarrassment. It’s apparently not a barrio, and certainly not in Castillian!

 

De Bess Ah Trini Speak, right Gee?

d5at5vc4VhV2C5nHKqUOXbbrEa9bzt2tDlI4kruynGQ3w1DJkiEbEWhCXTySmohpY5mll_p452RlsxkHhOHmkOoIGsNGoKTIhFMC2-bhCG190niLON8XpIY58bzAoNkOP3t0l6IeO1DJmb-lGWXd8OL_PXCjUd2NyWXdGEgAObAAGApv8tGPuNFC7-This post is not about the best of Trini speak. I haven’t heard enough yet to know what the best phrases might be. What I do know is that I don’t understand the English here in Port of Spain. I’d say that my comprehension is on par with my Spanish comprehension… well, they might be neck in neck. (I almost felt relief when talking to a guy in Spanish! If three sentences counts as talking.)

O7tnlozpiesZQVkRsgbN-YAZCiOfUGKqPG1JrEGLDP7wo2e1O0NIJB4KKmDMprkNsfBe4Y5Sw2PbeFNd88z4poVZequPmHYlQQzDN7XNJ5ZHTCvheigC1fP9hl9cgsUiJKnq2HMwsgLKfzXmvoYJEtfzSYoDGcbEWJrFgT98LSn8wFP9rYXN-kwEOiThe Trinis tell me that it’s because they speak fast. No, they don’t. They use different vocabulary, different grammar, different spelling, and they have a different cadence. In other words, a different language. They remove “then” and other prepositions (is that what they are called?). Or how about “the best food in tongue” which must mean “best tasting” or not?

UTtPySP7d8oXMjrGTNIwtw3GqjuVg4T1Yi3Vk_sdcVlqM07fg6lhuihChp8DzJfNVasHaottV5tj35NPcK1xEveB1pxMHcCbPW2pqM_K1LFf91wyGrqkS8UUwXUEsksFLryVHPTqPik4Gu2jJo4tZw-Pv0n4kkD8fTya5cm5jZmuRU8oEGL16KmHWCOther than terminology like “lime” and “whine” there are many other words in daily life that are used which I can’t recall right now. I wish I could. One phrase that I wrote down was, “A good bit of us” for “there are a lot of us.” Sounds like British but without the accent.

The food vocabulary is easy to learn (bodi is long green beans) as that’s a matter of memorization, and many of the words have an origin that is typical of Trinidad’s cultural influences. Bodi probably originates from the Hindi word and was likely introduced by the South Asians.

atdjzIOw3_8VhLbOHW663vXaoc0FLR15Nmfdy7KGhxt36Uvtr_e4mVN-MYHz6QT8YXKVqHsXyDrCoujwOfxDfAaEzuTuH_wR_SKNlOQe72QdC8rAzEwoVjZ2PjKvqGZCvQ0XZJF1seKPTrmnkcMWgY2fZf7VXS1019ctBSs3HvZdyJgNSGyjfRp1gyAnd then there’s the spelling. See that “best” is now a woman’s name, “bess.” And “ah” for “of” as can be seen in the soup sign.

Linguists could have a field day.

Ya dam right gee. For de bess ah tongue.

Or something like that. I have no idea! Habla espanol?