Food & Drink: Serving the last coarses: Recepi

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Indy Lifestyle Online
THE KINDER among you have asked us to spare a thought for the poor translators of our garbled recepi entries. Our attempts to convert English dishes into French, Spanish and Italian produce an equal number of howlers, they point out. I am sure they are right. But can we humbly ask for just one last laugh?

Many of you may be familiar with the dish which Walter Gundrey spotted in a restaurant in Milan. Along with the mouth-watering 'Six slugs Burgundy manner' and 'Mixed meats in spit', he was offered that staple of the hostess in a hurry: 'Spaghetti in the manner of a desperate woman'. Mr Gundrey can look forward to receiving a paella pan La Barraca.

I was relieved that Maggie Alderson included a picture with her partly-translated description of a 'piadina'. Here is the unillustrated version: guess what it is (answer at the end of the story).

'The product we illustrate you in its main expressions of use is a typical product of our contry and we call it 'piadina'. The piadina has to be tasted in preference after to have been reheated for two minutes in a comun kitchen-oven, in a toaster, on a hot-plate or in a comun stew without oil. It can be product in its traditional plump figure or in a toast format. The piadina can be pleasantly presented not only in the kitchen-table but also in drugs, ristorants, grill-rooms, snacks, etc . . .

'Excellent with delicatessen and cheese. It can also be waited with marmalades, chocolates and sweets. It's a wholesome and cheap food, childsgreediness, appetizing for adults, prefered to bread because it can feed without fatten oneself up, and for its freshing preservation possiblity owing to our packing. It's a product wich finds its exact place in our nowadays feeding.'

A paella pan La Barraca is on its way to London NW6.

Vanessa Stokes from Dover sends in a recepi given her by a cook in the Middle East. The cook had been given it with accompanying pictures to help those 'who are presently handicapped by the inability to read'.

'Take 6 eggs wash them with clean water. Make a hole on the small side, the size of a 4 anna bit and take out the white and yolk and whip well. Add salt and pepper to taste, 1 tea spoon roasted and ground coriander seed and onion chopped fine, 1 pinch zira cummin seed, mix well and fill the eggs with this and close the hole with flour. Half fill a degchi with water and place the eggs in it. Add a table spoon full of vinegar in the water and boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Take the eggs out and when a bit cool, take the ingredients out and add 1 table spoon boiling ghee and also a pinch of mint and serve.'

Vanessa Stokes confesses that she has yet to get as far as the hole in the first egg.

And finally, as promised, the delicacies of Laos. Neil McIntosh of London N19 advises all recepi addicts to stop off at Sam Chans 'Pob', where the menu the night he visited was:

Starters: Snake soup (whole snake, except for the head) or Calves Offspring Hormone soup.

Main Courses: Chef's special - Spicy, underdone grilled bowels, or Bowel Salad or Heaven Meat (canine, he discovered).

Pudding: 'I didn't make it to the pudding.'

Thank you for giving us a very good laugh every week. From now on it's back to the real recipe.

The piadina is a form of cracker, very similar to a matzo.