Thursday, February 18, 2010

Menu Decoder -- Your Guide to Eating Well in Any Language

Thanks to Budget Travel for this link to decoding the world's menus, including a Chinese menu decoder just in time for the Lunar New Year.

Other menu coders are for Barcelona (Catalonia region of Spain), France, Germany, India, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Prague (Czech Republic).

Happy reading and eating.

FYI - I've been to Barcelona, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Prague and China, so I can say the decoders are a good place to start but not at all comprehensive if you are traveling. They will help you spot more "authentic" dishes on your local ethnic restaurant menus. If you are looking for more information about the food ways, recipes and eating habits, I recommend the excellent (but out of print) Lonely Planet series "World Food," still available new or used from some bookstores and on line.

About the photo: Candied hawthornes, or bīngtáng húlu, and other candied skewered fruit from the night market on Goldfish Street in Beijing. (The snack is listed in the Budget Travel China food guide.) The candied hawthornes were somewhat like candied apples, only with lots of seeds in the middle. A teahouse in Beijing served them as well, but they seeded the hawthornes before candying, which made them much more enjoyable to eat.

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