Saturday, July 21, 2007

English As She Is Spoke (Revisited)

A couple of years ago I posted this. My good friend Jones has just returned from France, and he kindly brought me a menu from the (apparently excellent) Hostellerie de la Poste in Avallon. Aside from the unlikely name for a posh hotel (can you think of one in England named after the Post Office?) the English descriptions of the dishes on the very tempting menu are exotic to say the least. The Menu Classique looks wonderful, as it should for 50€ a pop, boisson non compris. How do you fancy any of these?

Spotted ham pot "house" radishes crunching with the mustard emulsion, or
Marbled ocean in its frost with grasses of summer and balsamic vinaigrette, or
Eggs poached in red wine with compotée of leeks, plugs and mushrooms, or
Gun of lamb roasted in crust of grass, juice to rosemary and vegetables of provence, or
Choice of refined cheeses with whish, or
Thousand sheet with tepid roast apple and its purée lacté with caramel, or
Tart sanded with the pears vigneronnes and bays of blackcurrant to sweet almonds.
There is more, but I think that I have given you a taste. M.Francois-Xavier Gross is by all accounts a damn good chef, but he would do himself a favour if he hired a young English trainee before going to print on the next menu.
When I was recently in Brittany there were plenty of duff translations on offer, so much so that I would always ask for the French menu if I were offered the Anglais version, but it is only when the cuisine becomes very haute indeed that the heights of absurdity are scaled.

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