Someone once told the English that “tapas bar” was Spanish for “exotic chav drinking hole”. El Sabio in Winchester has taken Alfonso, our royal name, in vain and concocted a quasi-Spanish menu that proves nothing more than that they are perfectly suited to running an English-style tapas bar. Pan de Catalana (which they believe is made with “sweet cherry tomatoes”) is our favourite, but there are plenty of other entries in the illiterate peasant stakes. For example: “Aceitunas Mixta” might taste better if the adjective agreed, “Albondígas” have a dangerous rear lurch, “Croketas de queso Manchego y Champinones” revolutionise Spanish orthography and phonetics (here are some ñs for El Sabio: ññññññññññ), “Tortilla Espanola” demonstrates that they can’t even spell the name of the country they are screwing, we figure “Paella de Vendors” must really be a rice dish made with estate agents, “Champinones Sacteador” looks like the champiñones have suffered the attentions of the Inquisition (they may simply have been salteados, however), and “Real Ali Oli” isn’t a sauce invented by Cassius Clay but proof that they can’t spell in Catalan either. To end on a positive note, their “Crème Catalana” not only demonstrates a daring combination of correctly spelled French and Spanish/Catalan, but succeeds in insulting the entire Catalan establishment by describing their work as a “traditional Spanish dessert”. Highly recommended.
- In which the Spanish Inquisition strikes down a translation and saves an English sailor from a fiery fate
Werner Thomas (* 1931)
is an accordionist from Switzerland credited with composing a tune popularly known as the “Chicken Dance” or the “Birdie Song” while working as a restaurant musician in Davos during the early 1960s
The Chairmans, however, describe him as a composer, and say that his masterwork was actually finished by 1957 and first pressed in
- ¡Gracias y adiós!
Update includes the top 10 posts at time of closure.
- Organ grinders and monkey and marmot migration
Any proto-ecologists don’t seem to have cared very much.
- Convergent etymology: paella / pilau
The other day in the London City out of scientific interest I ate from a hipster stall a portion of /pʌɪˈɛlə/. It wasn’t paella – it looked and tasted like sewage sludge, black, oily, foul – but I couldn’t work out (and didn’t dare ask) what method had led to this madness.
A couple of days