Tuesday 25 May 2010

Food, glorious food.


Thank you for all your wonderful words of encouragement and love and inspiration when things got a bit melancholy in my last post.  As I've said before - you, dear bloggy pals, are the chocolate buttons of LOVELINESS on the great Caramel Pudding of LIFE.

And speaking of food.....


How many of you have been presented with weird and wonderful menus or exceedingly dubious dinners during your travels? I’d love to hear your stories!

Here's one to tickle the taste buds....

In 1986, travel writer William Dalrymple finished college and spent his summer retracing the 12,000-mile route from Jerusalem to Xanadu that Marco Polo had (allegedly) traveled 700 years earlier. He published an account of his journey in his book In Xanadu, which contains this vignette about an unforgettable dinner experience he and his travelling companion Laura shared while on the road:

The waiter brought over a grubby document, creased at the corners and covered with tea stains. "Ingliz menu," he said, beaming at Laura. We opened the menu and studied it closely.

Kujuk Ayas Family Restrant



Ayas soap

Turkish tripte soap

Sheeps foot


Water pies


Deuner kepab with pi

Kebap with green pe

Kebap in paper

Meat pide

Kebap with mas patato

Samall bits of meat grilled

Almb chops


Meat in earthenware stev pot

Stfue goreen pepper

Stuffed squash

Stuffed tomatoes z

Stuffed cabbages lea

Leek with finced meat



Brain salad

Cacik — a drink made ay ay

And cucumber


Fried aggs

Scram fried aggs

Scrum fried omlat

Omlat with brain


Stewed atrawberry

Nightingales nests

Virgin lips

A sweet dish of thinsh of batter with butter










Miss Footloose said...

Wonderful menu! I have seen many hilarious ones around the world, but never made copies, as I should have, so I could share them here.

However, I do have a favorite story of a memorable meal I had in Togo once. If you're interested, you can read it here:


Heiko said...

Well, I'd like the sheep's foot soap... could I have a squirt of shampoo with tha?... Kebap in paper. Make that yesterday's Guardian please. A brain salad. Never can have enough brain. And leeches for pudding. My favourite!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, this is the best!
I would have ordered the cucumber.
Just the cucumber!

Silke Powers said...

OMG, that made me cry I laughed so hard! My favorite? Virgin Lips! Hmmm....

Sending much love to you, dear friend!! Silke

Rosaria Williams said...

What an interesting artifact. A Brain Salad? I wonder!

Anonymous said...

Water pies? You know, as funny as it might sound, I bet it would all taste wonderful and might not be a bad thing to not quite know what it is really!

kj said...

OMG! what would i order???

this made me think of a cookbook catagorized and classified by untensils and cooking pans.

wok. frying pan. aqua mixing bowl. cookie sheet.

:) & ♥

Unknown said...

Brilliant! I love the way people try to please, to serve you their best in the best way they can, even if it leaves one totally bamboozled - it's still humbling and gratifying, even if you end up going a bit green at the gills at the prospect of sheep's foot soap... Now, I think I'll settle for deuner kepab with pi...
I suppose my most memorable meal was in Taiwan - "thousand year old" eggs, snake and something unmentionable and unpronounceable! ;-)

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I would have closed my eyes and pointed at something. Sure it would have been fine! Best bit of menu speak I can remember was on a Greek island which offered "prawn, with another prawn".

Madame DeFarge said...

Great menu. I haven't been anywhere where I would have an odd menu, but it may yet happen. But I do hate eating British food abroad. That's what seems odd to me

Lori ann said...

how funny! i love reading menus from farflung places. and ordering too! my favorite: parmesan crusted croc fingers.
how are you dear tessa?

Linda Sue said...

HAHAHAHAHA how to decide it all sounds so aboloosly delashes! Hilarious.

Tessa said...

Footloose, great to see you again. I absolutely love your travel tales. That Togo meal was indeed 'magnifique'!

Heiko, hello! Thought you'd go for the brain salad somehow! Bet it went well with your kebap in yesterday's Guardian.

Pamela! Oh go on...be a bit more adventurous! How about roasted strawberries - very delish. xx

Silke, yes Virgin Lips sound smooth and fresh and rather Dali-esque. Think I'd rather paint them than eat them though!

Lakeviewer - love the way you refer to brain salad as an 'artifact'. Very much the archaeologist's choice, methinks.

Rob - I totally agree. That would be my choice just because there is the possiblity of something quite wonderful! I think it may well include fish which is great...as long as they're not still swimming.

kj - for me it would have to be the fried paan. xx

Nicky, I absolute second that sentiment. I'm quite sure that a great deal of love and passion for good cooking went into that menu. It is a delight. (Never eaten snake...please don't say it tastes like chicken. Most unusual food is said to taste like a chook mainly because people find it indescribable. Imagination is what is needed in such circumstances, don't you reckon?)

Elizabethm! That is the classic of all menu classics! Still giggling...

Lori - now that's the way to serve croc....with a parmasan crust. Why the helk didn't I think of that when trying out rubbery bits of chopped croc at Murchison Falls?!

Linda Sue - divinely delashes!

Bee said...

What an intriguing menu! I wonder what virgin lips are? Do you suppose the brain salad also includes lettuce?

I was at the Jane Austen House this week, and I happened to be perusing a book describing some menus of the time. I noticed macaroni pie (also on this menu) and pigeon pie, which were also on offer in Trinidad.

kj said...

♥ tessa.

i'm stopping by just to tell you that.

you can multiply it by 100,000

Cat or Dog said...

One of the worst meals I ever had was when staying in an open "hut" in the Amazon jungle. Most days we would catch some fish but sometimes no. The Yuca is a staple tuber and the bag of it in the hut had turned. There were flies on it. My hosts were accustomed to eating it like that for a few more days until they threw it out but I could tell it wouldn't agree with me. As I ate it, I could tell it was spoiled. Sure enough I didn't keep it down. I guess that was one of the least pleasant travel meals for me.