English speakers learning Spanish should become familiar with some of the common vocabulary pitfalls, embarazada and embarrassed being one of the most notorious. These are called false friends – the linguistic – not the human variety. Also known as false cognates, they are words that sound similar in both languages but do not have the same meaning.
When it comes to food a few more come to mind: Tuna is a prickly pear in Spanish, while tuna fish is atún – although some now call it tuna in Spanish too. Cola is a tail, not a carbonated drink. An abogado is a lawyer, not an avocado. Meringue is suspiro, not merengue, the Dominican national dance.
A pair of false friends with a particularly complicated relationship is lemon and lime. You’d think that lemon would be called limón and lime would be lima, but it’s not that simple.
I may not be Miss Cleo, but I know what you thought when you saw these Ripe Plantain Boats (Canoas) with Eggplants: 1) “That looks fine!”, and 2) “That’s not how you make Canoas!”.
Yeah, you’re right. Canoas — a Puerto Rican dish — is typically stuffed with minced beef, and the plantains are fried, which both give it a nice golden color, and also add quite a few more calories. There’s always a cloud for every silver lining.
The good news is that this version is very good. It will make your stomach and your waist equally happy.
This Oatmeal and Pear Bake has a case of multiple personalities. I am unsure whether to call it a dessert, or a breakfast. Maybe it’s both.
I love dishes like this. They are like the Swiss army knife of foods: Make them for breakfast, send kids with a slice to school, or get one for you when you feel like having dessert but don’t want to go crazy with the sugar.
Sometimes you find yourself in a tight spot, only to find out later that what you thought was your bad luck at work turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Imagine that, I almost left Israel without tasting Eggplant and Eggs Pita Sandwich (Sabich). That would have been nothing short of a tragedy.
If you’ve followed my culinary adventure in Israel, this is the last part, the part that ended somewhere around the time a snowstorm caused all the airports in the US East Coast to be shut, and my flight home cancelled. I wasn’t a happy gal, giving my nine-year old the news that mommy might take some more time to get home almost made me want to cry. It was my luck that my friend Bren was also staying longer in Israel, so we decided to go out and explore Tel Aviv on our own.
A day with Bren is an adventure in itself. That and how we came home with several pair of shoes, including some amazing handmade ones, is a story for another day!
Few Dominican children have escaped it, and although it’s not as popular these days, nearly all of us have eaten a version of this dish at some time or other. It was usually served as breakfast or dinner, and sometimes as a mild, comfort food when we were sick.
Coincidentally, a couple of readers recently mentioned that they would like a recipe for it, so I set out to do that. It took longer than I intended as my body just wasn’t into the whole “working” thing.
And I wasn’t just procrastinating.