baklava (Greece layered, nut laced with honey dessert)
escargots (French for snails)
falafel (Arab specialty)
tacos, tamales (Mexican, Spanish)
sushi (Japanese raw food)
scones (British or Scottish quick bread or cake)
croissants (French pastry)
pizzelles (Italian cookies spiced with anise)
gefilte fish (Jewish fish)
Origins in different countries…
My name is Robin Elizabeth. When I was going to middle school
Spanish class, we had to choose the closest name to our own in
a list of Spanish names. I used “Roberta” for those three years,
sorry if this is your name (I have a lovely nice British girlfriend
with this name!) But I was ready for a change in high school! I
marched up to Mr. Donaldson’s desk saying, “Senor Donaldson,
por favor, may I change my name to my middle name? It would
Well, how did this subject come up? One of Mom’s very nicest
neighbors has the first name of Isabel. I told her when I met her
that in Spanish that is “Isabella” and if it were looked up in a
translation dictionary for theEnglish version, it would be
Elizabeth. Did she know Elizabeth was a special, unfortunately
‘barren’ woman in the Bible, who is visited by an angel who
fortells that she will “bear fruit” and becomes the mother of
John the Baptist?
We talked about how foreign languages are the originators
of our English language and that our everyday vocabulary
includes a lot of foreign words or “roots” from foreign
countries. We are indeed a “melting pot” of languages,
so many different reasons why we use the words we do!
I wrote a few of the international foods that I would not
have known about nor tasted them, unless someone had
introduced them to me.
Isabel was fascinated and asked if I knew of any other “roots”
of words or where they came from? I told her the beautiful word,
“pavilion” comes from the French word pappillon, which is a
butterfly. If you notice large pavilions look a little like wings that
are spread downward.
My Grandmother Paula Hilmida Mattson used only a few German
words sprinkled into her language, but she definitely could cook
the special pastries of her country. (kuchen, spaetzle, and the
lovely combination of Spritz cookies and Pfeffernusse.
My Grandfather Walter William Mattson spoke very clear English, he
learned it quickly once he immigrated here from Sweden. Both my
mother’s parents came over as teenagers and met on a street corner
in New York City. That love story is in one of my older posts…
I think you probably recognize most foods that are from other countries.
I used to like international festivals, more so than individual ones. They
had such a “smorgasbord” of delicacies to choose from, the delicious
scents and smells intermingling as they wafted through the air.
Something new to me, recently, was an introduction to the exotic world
of bubble teas! Also known as “pearl milk tea” or “boba milk tea.” This
tea-based drink was invented in tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan in the
eighties! Wow! Took me long enough to discover their delicious and
chewy tapioca pearls and sweetly rich teas!
What have you learned recently about your heritage, any foreign foods
that you have recently been introduced to or any that are passed down
for generations? Also, are there any interesting stories attached to taking
a foreign language? Thanks for reading and hope to read about your
different beautiful languages or unique delicacies!